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NCUA Board Meeting January 2024 - Transcript

This is an unoffficial transcript of the NCUA Board Meeting from January 18, 2024. This is the first board meeting for new Biden appointee Tonya Otsuka. The transcript follows.


As we begin today's agenda, it's my pleasure to welcome NCUA's newest board member, Tanya Otsuka, to the board table. Board member Otsuka brings a wealth of policymaking and regulatory experience to the position.

 

She served as a senior policy advisor in the Senate and as an attorney at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and she is very well versed on many of the policy issues that we will consider here on the NCUA board.

 

What's more, she's already hit the ground running, contributing to the development of the annual performance plan that the board will consider later this morning. Additionally, board member Otsuka is a groundbreaker.

 

She is the first Asian -American to serve on the NCUA board in the agency's 54 -year history. Together, that personal background and her professional experiences will inform her work at the NCUA over the next six years.

 

So let me welcome you, board member Otsuka, to the board table. And as this is your first public meeting as a board member, let me recognize you for any introductory comments that you would like to make.

 

Thank you, Chair Harper. I appreciate it. And thank you for swearing me in last week. I am excited to be here today at my first board meeting. It was an honor to be nominated by President Biden and confirmed by the US Senate to serve as NCUA board member.

 

And it's particularly meaningful as someone who has spent their career in public service. Chair Harper, Vice Chairman Hoppen, and my predecessor, the Honorable Rodney Hood, have been gracious and welcoming as I joined the board.

 

Chair Harper and Vice Chair Hoppen, thank you. I'm looking forward to what we can achieve together. And I would like to properly recognize Mr. Hood, but I'll save my remarks at the end of the meeting.

 

Oh, that sounds great.

 

Thank you for those comments and I thank you for those comments and I know that the Vice Chairman and Hoffman and I look forward to working with you with that. Let me briefly recognize the Vice Chairman for his thoughts.

 

Yeah, I would also like to welcome Ms. Otsuka. Don't know her well. We had coffee a couple of weeks ago, partly because that was the last time we're ever allowed to speak to each other about anything.

 

On chaperone. On chaperone. Because she was still an employee of the US Senate at that time. So you have to make use of those. The very next time we're allowed to do so, one or both of us will be off this board and it will no longer be as relevant.

 

I appreciate her personality, I would say, and I think that matters. One thing you want to like the people you do business with, and also that it does appear to be a business person, meaning we don't always get everything we want in this life.

 

We make deals. And as you know, we don't really want to get everything we want in this life. Children of dictators, no one likes them. And I will say this, if someone at this agency, tiny probably shows up with more knowledge than most two of these sort of agencies having worked not only at the committee that has oversight, but at the FDIC.

 

So Tonya has now worked for 100% of entities that ensure American deposits.

 

Thank you both. Absolutely. And may I also just add one sort of note of personal observation. May your time on the board lead to a new trend. You may not know that at one point in time, all three board members had the last name, M, Matt, Metzger, and Nick Waters.

 

That was followed by Hood, Harper, and Huppman. May you be the first in the line of O's. So thank you, everyone. That concludes our opening remarks. Let us now turn to our agenda. The first item of business on our agenda is the NCUA's 2024 -2026 Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility Plan.

 

Miguel Polenco, director of the Office of Minority and Women Inclusion, is the sole presenter. Good morning, Miguel, and welcome to the board table. Please start whenever you feel ready. Thank you, Mr.

 

Polenco.

 

Good morning. Good morning, Board Members. Good morning, members of the Board. Chairman Harper, Vice Chairman Huffman, and welcome, Board Member Otsuka. Thank you for the opportunity to brief you on the NCUA 2024 -2026 diversity equity inclusion accessibility plan developed by my office, the Office of Minority and Women Inclusion with the input from program and regional offices.

 

Next slide, please. The Office of Minority and Women Inclusion, or OMWI, was established in 2010 by the Dodd -Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. My office is responsible for planning and managing the agency's equal employment and opportunity program, workforce diversity, and supply the diversity activities, and for assessing the diversity practices in credit unions.

 

We also prepare an annual congressional report on those activities. Next slide, please. Center to the agency's DIA strategy is the concept of organizational culture. How an organization's values, policies, and norms affect its ability to carry out and meet strategic objectives.

 

The model shown here reflects how employees' workplace experiences ultimately create a culture that underlies an organization's performance. The NCUA's DIA strategic plan establishes activities to intentionally define and pursue a workplace culture that can best support the agency's mission and strategic objectives.

 

Positive workplace experiences fuel employees' discretionary effort, creativity, and innovation. An employee whose experience is consistently aligned with the NCUA's values of integrity, accountability, transparency, inclusion, and proficiency is likely to be engaged and effective.

 

One experiences do not align with our established values, our ability to achieve results suffer. Leaders, through their behaviors, words, and norms are responsible for creating these experiences. Ultimately ensuring that our employees, vendors, and credit unions experience equal opportunity and growth is a strategic imperative to further enhance the NCUA's credit unions and credit unions and operational performance.

 

Next slide, please. The NCUA's commitment to DIA and its culture is reflected in our journey since OMWI was established in 2011. Over the past 12 years, the NCUA has introduced a variety of best in class programs to increase the agency's DIA competence and create a strong foundation to support and improve organizational culture.

 

Our 2024 -20026 DIA strategic plan reflects a focused effort on integrating OMWI programming with DIA contributions throughout the agency that elevate our competency into culture. Next slide, please.

 

Accordingly, the DIA strategic plan supports several strategic objectives outlined in the 2022 -20026 NCUA strategic plan. Those that stand to be directly impacted by the agency's DIA strategic strategy are shown here.

 

More detail on how the agency's DIA programs and initiatives will directly enhance these objectives are provided in an appendix to the DIA strategic plan. Next slide, please. In the same way the NCUA's overall strategic plan affects all employees, DIA activities and programs protect and positively impact all employees.

 

EO laws protect applicants, employees and former employees from employment discrimination based on race and national origin, color, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity, age, disability status and genetic information.

 

The NCUA's anti -discrimination policy and grievance procedure offer further protection to employees and contribute toward an environment in which all employees feel consistently included, respected and valued.

 

Shown here, our vision is to achieve an organizational culture of inclusion, allyship and belonging in which employees, vendors and credit union members feel consistently included, respected and valued.

 

Our mission is to promote activities and behaviors that supports all agency employees and vendors as well as credit unions while actively identifying and eliminating obstacles that detract from a culture of inclusion and belonging.

 

Next slide, please. As the Q is successfully, this plan will propel the NCUA towards a desired end state as shown here. While the agency's previous DIA plan focused on strategic objectives centered around functional areas such as EEO, diversity of outreach and supply diversity, the NCUA will now leverage functional areas as tools to intentionally transform our culture.

 

Likewise, reporting will be elevated into storytelling as the agency promotes and leverages successful mission -driven inclusive behaviors directly linking DIA to mission -related outcomes. Historically, the agency has delivered DIA knowledge by training staff.

 

With our new DIA strategic plan, agency supervisors will have access to engaging developmental training in emotional intelligence and inclusive behaviors to practice and enhance the type of behaviors that will consistently create positive experiences for their direct reports.

 

Critically, the NCU's DIA work has previously been siloed and OMWI has been responsible for most DIA activities and programming. This year, we plan to engage the whole of the agency in our diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility work.

 

And finally, initiatives to build DIA competence can often be driven by anecdotal evidence. Our latest DIA strategic plan ensures the agency applies rigorous data and analytics to identify gaps, disparities, and imbalances that need to be addressed.

 

Next slide, please. The NCU's DIA strategic plan aligns with the government -wide focus on four areas, diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility. Central to carrying out our statutory mandate, we must attract highly -scaled and motivated employees and vendors to support the NCU's mission.

 

Our DIA strategy will ensure that the NCU can attract top talent from across the country with a range of skills and experiences. Once a highly -skilled employee is hired, ensuring that they have equitable access to the developmental opportunities and promotions that are field included and can easily access and use the facilities and equipment will help retain them.

 

Investing in employees has a real and measurable return on investment. Successfully establishing a culture underpinned by DIA best practices will give the NCU a competitive advantage as an employer of choice.

 

The NCU's commitment to DIA is rooted in our obligation to realize the full potential of all Americans and the skills, ideas, experiences, and innovations that they bring to bear. Next slide, please.

 

Each focus area in the DIA strategic plan covers how the agency will address the needs of the NCU workforce, our vendors, and credit union industry. The agency's diversity goals will be advanced by recruitment outreach that is evidence -based and targeted.

 

We will promote retention through programs such as the employee resource group and mentor programs, and by developing our leaders' competence in emotional intelligence and inclusive behaviors. We will achieve diversity in our vendor portfolio by continuing our outreach to minority and women -owned businesses and internally through a proven and effective process of sourcing highly qualified minority and women -owned businesses to compete in the agency's contracting opportunities.

 

We will advance diversity in the industry through ongoing outreach promoting DIA to drive organizational culture, inclusive and equity training, and networking opportunities. Next slide, please. Equitable organizations actively work to identify gaps, disparities, and inconsistencies in access to opportunities across all groups of employees.

 

To do that, the NCU uses employee data analytics. We also use qualitative analysis from sources including our Culture Diversity and Inclusion Council, employee resource groups, and our Equal Employment Opportunity Program.

 

The agency will be more transparent in communicating our equity -related gaps and successes to engage agency leaders in developing and implementing solutions. To improve equity among our vendors, we will continue educating contracting officers and their representatives and assess the effectiveness of our Supply Diversity Program to ensure we effectively and consistently promote inclusion and equity.

 

We will also promote education regarding how to foster equity within a credit union and how to deploy equitable practices to attract and retain a growing field of membership. Next slide, please. A stated before, inclusive practices are essential in generating positive employee experiences that drive retention.

 

To that end, the agency will continue promoting and enhancing a number of workforce retention strategies. Supply diversity is the practice of intentionally seeking diverse suppliers. It's a key practice at the NCUA and one that allows us to bring the full complement of the market to bear to agency's needs.

 

Our best -in -class market research process and vendor education will continue to avail the agency of a continuous flow of competitive and high -performing minority and women -owned businesses. Through the agency's credit union diversity self -assessment and annual DIA summit, the NCO will continue offering opportunities for credit unions to cultivate and sustain DIA as a driver to improve organizational culture that delivers on their strategic objectives.

 

Next slide, please. I'm proud to share that the NCO has exceeded the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission benchmark for the representation of individuals with disabilities and those with targeted disabilities.

 

There's a significant gap in employment and opportunity afforded to people with disabilities when compared to those without. This makes it even more critical for us to focus on how to promote more employment within this group by conducting targeted outreach and leveraging the available federal hiring authorities.

 

The agency's employee research group for people with disabilities and their allies has been instrumental in providing a community of support and guidance for agency employees. Part of this support, inaccessibility extent to businesses owned by people with disabilities.

 

To that end, we will engage service -disabled veteran -owned firms and disabled -owned businesses. Requiring section 508 compliance in all agency contracts also supports the advancement of accessibility within the agency's scope of influence.

 

We will also support the credit union industry in building competence in attracting and returning individuals with disabilities. Next slide, please. In closing, I want to affirm that the NCO is committed to attracting, retaining and developing NCO employees and to providing a positive employee experience.

 

For example, we plan to deploy affinity groups as a more informal way to create community. The NCO will also develop toolkits to support managers and engage in only support for program offices to guide them in their own DIA activities and commitments.

 

Next slide, please. The ultimate objective is for the agency to complete its DIA journey from its compliance beginnings and its competence -building maturity level to achieve the type of agency culture that creates optimal conditions to achieve the NCUA's 2022 -2026 strategic plan.

 

Next slide, please. Thank you again for inviting this overview of the NCUA 2024 -2026 DIA strategic plan. If I may, I would like to share two important updates with our attendees. First, this year NCUA, the DIA summit will take place from July 9th through 11th with the theme of DIA here to stay.

 

Please save the date. We look forward to seeing you there. Next slide, please. And finally, a reminder to all credit unions that this year's diversity self -assessment deadline closes on February 15th.

 

Last year we received a record 481 submissions from credit unions and we want your support in beating that record. Each credit union, CEO and board president receives an email with a personalized link to submit a self -assessment.

 

The information you share is completely confidential and is not shared outside of OMWI and does not affect or influence your camel's score. Please reach out to my office at omwimeo at nca .gov for any questions you might have.

 

Next slide, please. Again, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today. This concludes my presentation. I will be happy to answer any questions you might have.

 

Thank you, Miguel, for your presentation and for the work of you and your team to advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility at the NCUA and within the credit union system. And thank you to the entire team and the Office of Minority and Women Inclusion for developing and finalizing this strategic plan.

 

The NCUA has a deep commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility. That commitment stems, in part, from the historic origins of credit unions, many of which were created to serve marginalized communities unable to otherwise obtain safe, fair, and affordable credit through banks or other financial providers.

 

Those first credit unions sought to provide financial equity. The NCUA's commitment also stems from the business case for diversity. Research shows that those organizations with greater diversity and inclusion perform better and operate more efficiently and effectively.

 

Through external initiatives like the agency's annual DEI summit, the community development revolving loan fund, and mentoring grants from minority depository institutions, as well as internal efforts like employee resource groups, outreach to potential suppliers, and hiring initiatives, the NCUA advances these important principles within the agency and across the credit union system.

 

Credit unions have historically focused on building secure financial futures for their members. In a similar way, the NCUA seeks to draw on the strength, draw strength from a broad range of talents and perspectives to create a diverse and inclusive environment where every employee can make the most of opportunities, drive innovation, and, in turn, build a stronger agency.

 

The strategic plan that the board is discussing today outlines the agency's efforts related to workforce diversity, inclusion, workplace resolutions, supplier diversity, and credit union diversity that will support the NCUA's strategic objectives over the next four years.

 

The four goals in this plan reinforce the NCUA's priority of diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility as an imperative within the agency and the credit union industry. In doing so, the credit union system will be better positioned for sustainable progress.

 

Specifically, the plan provides a foundation for diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility practices in the agency's recruitment and hiring processes and promotes equitable opportunities for the agency's employees.

 

The power of allyship and the culture of belonging are critical to achieving those collective goals. They improve employee retention, empower employees to work and speak authentically, and give employees the space to become agents for positive change.

 

Before recognizing others, I do have a few questions for you, Miguel. Yes, sir. First, one way to evaluate performance and success is through data. Credit unions can contribute to these efforts by filling out a voluntary credit union diversity self -assessment of which the results are confidential.

 

This year, we are collecting that voluntary survey submissions until February 15th. That deadline is less than a month away. Where can credit unions access this survey? I didn't see that information on your side and voluntarily submitted for us.

 

Thank you for that question, Mr. Chairman. Since 2022, we use an automated system to send a custom link to each credit union that submits a call report. This links ensure the integrity and security of the information credit unions send to us.

 

The automated emails are sent directly to each credit union CEO and board president. In our latest cycle, we sent out the initial invitation to submit a self -assessment on or about October 1, 2023 and several reminders in the subsequent months.

 

Each email includes the unique link for the specific credit union, and I encourage credit unions to check the CEO's email spam folder in the event that our message was automatically sent to spam in error.

 

Let's say you're a CEO and you're a busy person and you've looked through your spam folder, you can't find it and maybe it's actually already been deleted because you have somebody who's efficient as an assistant.

 

Who can they call? Thank you.

 

They can call our office, so minority and women inclusion. The phone number is 703 -518 -1650. And or they can actually send us an email at omwemailatncua .gov.

 

And I'm we mail is OMWI. MAIL, all one word. Correct, sir. And just can you say the phone number again, because I always leave a phone number twice when I leave a voice message. I think the vice chairman does too.

 

The number is 703 -518 -1650.

 

Thank you. Last year, one in ten credit unions voluntarily submitted this survey results. I hope that we can achieve similar participation rate this year and perhaps even higher. For those credit unions that opt in, what sorts of insight Thank you for that.

 

The self -assessment helps credit unions evaluate their practices in relation to five joint standards, which involve organizational support for DI practices, workforce diversity, supply diversity, ongoing assessments of diversity practices, and transparency of their DI activities.

 

Several federal financial regulatory agencies, including the NCUA, set forth these joint standards for their respective regulated entities. The self -assessment also serves as a checklist of sorts, introducing credit unions to diversity, equity, and inclusion best practices they may choose to adopt.

 

The NCUA encourages credit unions to voluntarily submit a credit union self -assessment each year, and credit unions that conduct a self -assessment year over year can track progress in their DI journey and use it to support their own strategic planning process.

 

Thank you. I am a deep believer in the management tenet of if you can't measure if you don't measure it you can't manage it and certainly the self -assessment is a way of Collecting that data and measuring it Could you go a little deeper into that last answer that you gave with respect to?

 

The credit unions that you're over year track this performance. Do they see improvements? What type of improvements do they see? Thank you

 

We see credit unions getting tremendous benefits in growth, talent and innovation when they develop strategies to ensure diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility are applied. The 2022 report we released last year shows that credit unions who submit a self -assessment over multiple years appear to develop more mature DEIA practices over time and tend to demonstrate mark improvement year over year in the five standards.

 

Many of these credit unions reported that the self -assessment is a valuable tool to help them evaluate and improve their diversity programs. Completing a self -assessment over consecutive years helps credit unions clearly see their progress which can drive commitment to ongoing improvements to the type of programs that support credit union performance and growth.

 

When looking at the aggregated data, we identified areas where credit unions reported successes. For example, those who submitted a self -assessment report having leadership that is committed to DEIA principles and standards, an increasing number of women in CEO and other leadership roles, as well as an increase in the number of Hispanics and Latinos in management and CEO roles, and also active engagement in DEIA outreach efforts.

 

It is important to know however that these results only reflect the growth and maturity of credit unions that submit a self -assessment. We cannot apply them to the broader industry but identifying areas for improvement helps the NCUA in aligning the right resources and future training to support credit unions.

 

That concludes my response.

 

Thank you, Miguel. I strongly encourage credit unions, especially those with 100 or more employees to complete the self -assessment this year. And thanks again, Miguel, to you and your team for your excellent work on this strategic plan.

 

Thank you. That concludes my remarks. I now recognize the Vice Chairman.

 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thanks, Miguel, for the presentation. I want to congratulate you on the work you've done. And I enthusiastically agree with Chairman Harper on his commitment to leverage a power of diversity and inclusion within NCA.

 

A diverse workforce makes us better and stronger. One example I gave was my undergrad was at UCLA, one of our famous alums is Jackie Robinson. The baseball stadium there is Jackie Robinson Stadium. And the key thing to note is when the daughter is hired at Jackie Robinson, keep in mind college baseball at UCLA was already integrated.

 

This was only a problem for some owners. They didn't hire Jackie Robinson just because it was fair to him, even though it was. Why did they hire him?

 

Thanks. Competence. Yes. Because...

 

Because he helped the daughters. He helped the team. It was very good. I mean, it was MVP of the league his first year. And then other teams noticed that and said, why don't we avail ourselves of all the town available?

 

The free enterprise system has always benefited from that. What it has not benefit for is the heavy hand of government trying to push its own agenda on others. That has a 100% failure rate. I want to say when we talk about diversity, one of the indicators is diversity in the credit union industry.

 

You and your team are listening to credit unions and it shows. I commend that. Your approach to develop training for credit unions to use and attracting diverse employees is in response to overwhelming feedback you receive from workshops at the DEIA summit.

 

In a competitive marketplace, employers need as many tools as possible to find talented individuals. I want to add that promoting diversity in the credit union does not include the agency telling credit unions who should be on their boards or any form of their management.

 

Credit union boards are obviously chosen by a vote of their member owners. The credit unions field of membership determines the population from which a board member can be chosen. Do you agree that is a fundamental difference field of membership to other types of financial services?

 

When your plan talks about promoting diversity in the credit union system, I feel strongly that promoting financial inclusion in general is the responsibility of this agency. Credit unions were the original answer to financial inclusion.

 

If any given field of membership was already happy with the financial services marketplace, they would not have done the years of backbreaking almost thankless work to create their own credit union. The credit union movement is itself by definition diverse.

 

As you know, we have credit unions formed around faith -based groups, ethnic groups, as well as those around employee groups, public servants, farmers, military personnel, educational systems, and so on.

 

Each one of them was formed because there was a group of people not getting what they needed, excluded, if you will, from existing financial services providers. I don't have your remarks in front of me, but it was right before you said, ask for slide 10.

 

Do you know where that is in your remarks? It was right before you said slide 10. It was literally the words you said right before you said slide 10. And I couldn't quite hear it. Did you say we will demand, is the word demand in your remarks?

 

No, not at all, sir. It is not. We are public servants. That is why we don't demand anything except adherence to the law. Okay, remember, credit unions are here, we are here. That is what the word servant means.

 

So all of us at NCUA should remember what true financial inclusion means. To maintain diversity of the credit union system, NCUA should always consider how our operations affect financial inclusion. The credit union system becomes less diverse when an otherwise healthy credit union merges or goes away because of the cross of regulatory burden.

 

I want to take a moment to say something I should have said at the beginning. I want to compliment Ms. Otsuka in her confirmation hearing focused on small credit unions. And the one thing even our own examiners have said is, wow, it is difficult for small credit unions to deal with the paperwork burden imposed by NCUA.

 

So any talk about inclusion that does not lighten the burden on those is just talk. I want to congratulate, I'm sorry, I want to call on my fellow board members. To make financial inclusion more prominent in our thinking about this subject.

 

We can't congratulate ourselves on our DEIA efforts if we add unnecessary burdens on small credit unions and those seeking the smart one, the start one. We got a lot of talk about the word equity, the word existing English language for a long time, but it's interesting on Google searches and on searches of prominent media the last 10 years that has skyrocketed with a different meaning.

 

Can you tell me the definition of equity that you're using?

 

Thank you for that question, Mr. Chairman. The way the incident defines equity is aligned with the 2021 Executive Order on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility, which defines equity as the consistent and systematic fair just and impartial treatment of all individuals, including those who belong to underserved communities.

 

One of the challenges we often face though is in discussing equity is that equity and individuals, both equality and equity, have to do with fairness. But it is very important to make a distinction between the two.

 

Equality requires that everyone receive the same resources and opportunities, regardless of their circumstances. On the other hand, equity considers the specific needs or circumstances of a person or group and provides the types of resources they need to have the same access to opportunities.

 

We know from personal experience that not everyone faces the same circumstances and challenges. In other words, different people may need different levels of support to achieve this level of fairness that we are talking about.

 

For example, an employee with a vision or mobility impairment may have unique needs that an employer can help meet to ensure they have equal access to employment, development and leadership opportunities.

 

Clearly stated, equity does not guarantee the same outcomes. Equity means removing barriers to access to opportunity whether attitudinal, physical, procedural or policy -based. Identifying and eliminating barriers to access to opportunity is the work our agency will continue to engage in during the coming years to uphold a cultural fairness, inclusion and accessibility for all.

 

That concludes my response.

 

That makes sense to me. You may be aware that in the large pandemic rescue bill, the Biden administration was found to violate the law. Judge struck it down and the White House removed the program. $29 billion was given for restaurants that were suffering at that time.

 

Every single dollar of that $29 billion was explicitly by the White House allocated according to race and gender. Some people were not allowed to get any of those resources. Can you make sure that this agency does not face the wrath of a judge or a lawsuit by never making any resources available based on race, gender, or anything else?

 

Mr. Vice Chairman, I mean the resources that we make available to the credit unions and also to our staff are not based on, you know, any of the protected classes, if you will. We ensure that our programs, especially the employment opportunity program is available to all employees and it crosses a whole host of different protected classes that make sure that we avoid discrimination.

 

We avoid harassment and we also avoid inequity in the way that we are offering opportunities on training, development and, you know, work assignments.

 

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Every single employee of NCA, if there was a parallel universe and we could go through our life applying and working at NCA, can you say that every single human would have the same career opportunities, hiring, advancement, etc.

 

regardless of what their race, gender, ethnic, group, and gender are?

 

was. That's the goal and the goal is looking at and analyzing as I mentioned before any type of gaps in consistencies that we might have because what we want to make sure is that everybody every single person at the agency has the access to the opportunity that they deserve.

 

They don't have guaranteed outcomes but they have we want to guarantee them access equal access to the opportunities that the agency has to offer.

 

This is not your or my doing, but the Biden administration program that when the $29 million was released for restaurants on the day you could apply for it, not one male -owned restaurant was allowed to apply for it.

 

The judge struck that down that obviously violates the Civil Rights Act and they had to remove it. Are you going to make sure this agency is clear of anything like that?

 

This order equal employment opportunity program is all about.

 

saying that restaurants owned by men are prohibited from receiving that money. Would that be everyone receiving the same resources? I would not consider that so. I appreciate that. Just want to, again, go back to what we said.

 

We have credit unions that they decided for their own community to start that are Haitian -Americans. It's hard to find a normal financial institution that you can do business in Haitian Creole. And there's that times thousands in this country.

 

One's all in Arabic, et cetera. The very first credit union in this country was Quebecois, conducted solely in French. We had recently, and great job again to the cure for getting this going, Alfacapalpa, African -American sorority.

 

Their management is solely African -American women. We have ones that are credit unions. We have credit unions that are Ukrainian -Americans. They serve their community, at least the way the US Census defines these things.

 

One of them is management. We'll be all African -Americans. The other ones will be all Ukrainian -Americans, Europeans, all white folks. Are those both equally diverse in your eyes? Well, strictly on that measure.

 

When we talk about diversity and diverse people, for example, it's not in an asylum, it's not on their own. When we talk about diversity and diverse, it's about groups. So when we talk about someone that is a diverse individual, individuals cannot be diverse.

 

When we talk about diverse, someone that is a diverse individual is because they are part of a group that is considered diverse.

 

Should NCUA treat people as individuals or as members of groups? As individuals. Okay. Yeah. I just want to say it is not for us to say a single word ever that Alpha Kappa Alpha for us to ever use the heavy hand of government and you know what I would say government's bam bam it doesn't know its own strength everything lands harder than we realize it does sometimes to suggest that they should not be all African -American women in their management.

 

Can you pledge that we should not say one single word to ever make them feel or that the Ukrainian should have fewer Ukrainians or that one that's all Sunni Muslims that that's a problem for them. Credients are very different than every other type of national services provider.

 

We have ones that are all Episcopalians and that's completely fine. Do you agree with that?

 

I mean, the field of membership works that way. I mean, the field of membership makes the type of composition of a particular board or managers of memberships very specific to what they apply for when they obtain the charter.

 

So the field of membership is really the driver for that type of composition. Yeah.

 

officially three -year police brave exercises must never sometimes be One question in Ding

 

In some ways, what we have heard is that some are concerned about being the fact that we are the regulator. So sometimes there is a little bit of a trust issue saying, well, I don't want to send information that I need to send that is voluntary.

 

That's one. Another one is people really don't have a lot of time. We have a ton of credit unions that are very, very small that operate on the volunteers. So it's very difficult for them to actually dedicate some additional time to actually responding to our survey.

 

Another thing that we have learned as well is they also, when they submit the information, they also don't know what exactly we're gonna do with it. Is it gonna at some point become something detrimental to them?

 

One of the things that we have done, and thank you for suggesting this, is moving towards a third party survey provider or administrator for the agency. This coming cycle, we're actually gonna have a third party provider actually issue the survey and receive the information so that we can keep us an agency arm's length from the information and we only will be asking for reports, aggregated reports.

 

So the information is completely kept outside of the NCUA and we only receive aggregated reports for the type of information we need for our reports.

 

And that is not how it was when it started, correct? No, it was not. Where NCA employees saw the name of the credit union. And we promised to keep it quarantined within. So some NCA employees would see the name of the credit union, and some would not.

 

As you know, other agencies have ways to do this. Can I ask you one thing? Can you make sure that on the assessment form, it has the words very prominently? No NCA employee will ever see the name or have the identity of what credit union submitted it.

 

Something along those lines. Yeah, moving forward, that's the idea. When I had this discussion a year ago, it was no, only some people get it, but we don't share it with others. I wouldn't trust that.

 

For one thing, employees can move to other departments. And they did see the information. And there are easy ways to do this that other agencies do. I know FGIC, for example, has an anonymous survey they put out.

 

And I know banks that would not do it because they're terrified that you can see which IP address submitted it. And there may only be one FGIC in short place in Duluth, Minnesota or something like that.

 

If you understand that level of fear, which I think is 100% justified, then I think we're on the right track. That concludes my remarks. Thank you, Chairman Hover.

 

Thank you. Thank you, Vice Chairman Hauptman, Board Member Oddska. You're now recognized.

 

Thank you, and thank you, Miguel, for the presentation. Thank you to the staff for all their work putting it together. So as one of the newest members of the NCUA community, I felt incredibly welcomed.

 

But of course, that feeling of acceptance can't just be reserved for board members. It's critical that all employees feel that they belong at their workplace, that their contributions will be viewed on their merit, and that they are comfortable speaking up and sharing their ideas.

 

It seems to me the strategic plan represents a roadmap through which NCUA can promote a culture of inclusion. And mitigate barriers to equity and accessibility. And I really appreciate the data driven approach that you all have taken to ensure that NCUA is meeting those strategic goals.

 

And I also understand your office has made great strides in increasing the NCUA's use of diverse suppliers. So I commend you all for that. And another thing that I noticed was that you're improving your outreach to service, disabled, and veteran owned vendors so that it's not just the typical groups we think of when we hear DEIA.

 

So I guess a couple of questions following up on that. Vice Chair Hopman asked about how you define equity. I'll ask you how you define diversity in the context of this strategic plan.

 

Thank you for that question. Board Member Okska, broadly speaking, the NCA definition of diversity is also aligned with the one endorsed by the Office of Personal Management as presented in the 2021 Executive Order on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility in the Federal workforce.

 

And essentially diversity is defined as the practice of including the many communities, identities, races, ethnicities, backgrounds, abilities, cultures and beliefs of the American people, including underserved communities.

 

In simple terms, diversity is all the things that makes us who we are. That concludes my response.

 

Thank you. So this isn't just about a few people or a few particular groups. This is creating a broader environment where we can be fair, where it can be just impartial treatment of all individuals. Yeah, in my experience, you know, when all staff feel valued and they can feel free to bring their different perspectives and experiences to problem -solving, it helps build stronger and more effective teams.

 

So I appreciate that. And I think the other, you know, the other side of the coin with this, that both my colleagues have raised, is diversity within the credit union system is so important, especially because credit unions are such community -focused institutions.

 

So if a credit union doesn't have representation from its community, from the boardroom to the frontline staff, it might be harder for the credit union to build trust and acceptance from the community it seeks to serve.

 

You know, and I agree with Vice Chair Hotman that, you know, a lot of credit unions are formed to serve particular types of communities. And as he noted, you know, one of the areas that I'd like to focus on in my work here at the NCUA is small credit unions.

 

So I think, you know, the three of us share those goals. But I think at the same time, there is still more work to be done. And to your point about diversity, and some of the discussion earlier, it's not just race or gender.

 

It's, you know, veteran status. It is your level of ability. So even within credit unions that might serve a particular community, there is room for diverse views and there is room for diverse individuals.

 

So following up on that, you know, are there barriers that members from underrepresented and marginalized communities faced serving on credit union boards? And what are the ways that NCUA can support credit unions attract diverse board members using that broader definition of diversity?

 

for that question. From our work with the industry, we have found that some credit unions boards may still reflect the original fields of membership and might still need to evolve to match the changing demographics of the regions they serve.

 

This is why it is essential for credit unions to keep a pulse on the demographics of their membership and the regions they serve to identify and leverage opportunities in an ever -changing financial market.

 

The most recent D .I. Summit, we hosted a workshop titled Leveraging Resourceful Data for Increasing Financial Inclusion, which provided credit union participants an overview on how to utilize the free census data tool from their equity initiative for underserved communities to gain a deeper understanding of the needs of the underserved communities in their field of membership and also be able to increase financial inclusion for all.

 

In our 2021 D .I. Summit, we hosted a panel titled Diversity and Inclusion in the Boardroom to provide credit unions with insights on how to build and maintain a diverse board and how it helps shape better board decisions.

 

All of these useful resources are available in the agency's website by searching the term DEI Summit and the specific year, whether it's 2021, 2022, or 2023, and the user will be directed to video content from these events.

 

Other barriers marginalized communities face involve time commitments and limited flexibility and in some cases having requisites scales in business accounting or the financial arena to enable them to serve effectively.

 

That concludes my response.

 

Thank you, Miguel. Yes, those are areas where I think it would be great if we could work together to try to find ways to overcome some of those barriers that people might be facing if they're interested in serving on a credit union board, but just might not be able to.

 

And then how does the strategic plan in your office work with and complement other NCUA efforts related to financial inclusion? You mentioned a little bit of it in your last response. But if you could allow me to.

 

Thank you for that. On we regularly partners with NCU's access initiative, the NCU credit union resources and expansion office and the office of consumer financial protection in developing actionable content for credit unions primarily when developing content and selecting topics and speakers for the NLDI summit.

 

On we also contributes educational content to cures growing learning management system library and actively partners with these three offices in coordinating key messages and NCU representation on agency webinars and credit union events.

 

Having started this in earnest last year we have found early successes in sharing the NCU story of support and resources across a broader landscape. The 2024 -2026 DIA strategic plan calls for further collaboration across business lines, rejecting silos and reflecting a cross -functional philosophy towards DIA for credit unions, vendors and agency employees and applicants.

 

That concludes my response.

 

Thank you, Miguel. I appreciate it. And I appreciate all the work that's been put into this. And I think I'm looking forward to working together to try to continue this. I do think government and the UNCUA can play a role in making sure that credit unions and financial institutions serve all communities.

 

I appreciate it. Thank you.

 

for the questions. Thank you. And thank you both for a lively and fulsome discussions on this. I know that we all share a common goal of wanting to see success of credit unions overall. And certainly to the vice chairman's point, it's important that when we are developing new rules that we look at the size, scale, and scope, in that regard, one thing that I am struck by when I look at the data is that MDI credit unions have an average size of $133 million.

 

They are generally under a lighter regulatory touch and supervisory touch. And in part because of that, and in part because they have strong strategic plans and a defined mission, they are able to perform with a return on average assets equal to billion dollar plus institutions, at least as of recent quarters.

 

And if I could just one other thing on your point, it's more important, I shouldn't say more important, but it's also important to look at the composition of a board when it comes to age. And I didn't really hear that here today.

 

It is younger audiences, those who are under the age of 40, who are in their prime borrowing years, and having representation on a board of somebody who is from that age group can help to identify it, just as it could to have a veteran who knows many veterans when they leave, they start their own businesses.

 

Having that type of representation on a board can help to drive change, and it's the important to take a look at diversity in many different aspects overall. Again, Miguel, thank you so much. That concludes our discussion of the NCways diversity, equity, and inclusion and accessibility plan.

 

Thank you. The last item on our agenda is the NCways 2024 annual performance plan. Just representing this item are Lindsay Courage, management analyst, Office of the Chief Financial Officer, and Nancy Rae Kellgaard, Associate Regional Director of Western Region.

 

Good morning to you both. And Nancy Rae, I think this is your first time at an open board meeting table. You've certainly been at closed board meetings, as we've unfortunately had to liquidate credit unions.

 

But welcome to the public forum. Thank you. You're welcome. Please begin when you're ready.

 

Good morning Chairman Hartmann, Vice Chairman Holtman, Board Member Opska. Nancy May and I are here to discuss the NCA's 2024 Interperformance Plan and request the Board's approval of the plan. The Interperformance Plan is important because it demonstrates to our employees and stakeholders the specific work the NCA will do over the next year to fulfill its mission and make progress toward achieving its goals.

 

In conjunction with the multi -year strategic plan and the annual budget, we hold ourselves accountable for delivering results to credit union member owners and to the general public. The 2022 to 2026 strategic plan is the foundational document that charts the course for the agency's actions and goals.

 

The annual performance plan provides greater specificity around the metrics and milestones that NCA will monitor throughout this year to track our efforts to achieve the vision and goals of the strategic plan.

 

The 2024 Interperformance Plan before you today is streamlined compared to prior year plans. This plan revises several of the agency's performance goals and presents fewer overall indicators to focus on outcomes that matter to the public.

 

We continuously strive to improve the quality of our indicators focusing on outcome oriented measures where possible. We work to develop initial performance metrics concurrently with the 2024 budget development and align with our agency's continued effort to integrate planning with budgeting.

 

NCA offices were required to justify how funding and staffing for new and ongoing projects would help the NCA achieve its strategic goals and objectives. This annual performance plan in combination with the budget shows how the NCA will execute on our strategic plan in 2024.

 

We collaborated with senior executives and staff across the agency to develop this plan. The contributions from this outreach were constructive and insightful. We very much appreciate this partnership with our NCA colleagues.

 

I would now like to turn to Nancy Rae who will discuss the specific contents of the 2024 Interperformance Plan.

 

Thank you, Lindsay, and good morning. As Lindsay mentioned, the annual performance plan is built on the foundation provided by the strategic plan and provides more detailed information about agency programs, such as measurable targets and milestones for each goal established in the strategic plan.

 

The annual performance plan also states the actions and activities the NCUA will perform to accomplish its strategic goals and explains how the agency will monitor progress in relevant areas of its operations.

 

The 2024 annual performance plan includes important indicators, including those related to, for strategic goal one, addressing undue risk and violations in NCUA -insured credit unions, such as through the timeliness of our examinations and follow -up examinations, analyzing barriers to financial technology adoption, addressing violations of consumer financial protection laws through fair lending examinations and the resolution of consumer complaints received in our Consumer Assistance Center, and achieving positive responses to our post -examination survey.

 

For strategic goal two, closing gaps and pursuing opportunities to foster financial inclusion and improving the reach of the agency's consumer financial education materials. And for strategic goal three, delivering best in class information technology management, human capital management, and financial management services.

 

The CFO's office is responsible for measuring and reporting on progress, implementing the actions that the NCUA offices take to the agency's performance goals, to meet the agency's performance goals.

 

Although today's agenda item is for approval of the 2024 annual performance plan, I'd like to remind everyone that NCUA also publishes a retrospective annual report. The annual report for 2023 is expected to be published in March of this year and includes a line -by -line update showing the NCUA's progress in each of the performance measures set for last year.

 

It discusses the reasons for any variance or change in performance trends over the past 12 months. The current and recent annual performance plans and annual reports, as well as the NCUA's strategic plan budgets and financial statements can all be found on the NCUA .gov website.

 

Thank you for your time today. This concludes our presentation. We're happy to answer your questions.

 

Thank you so much Nancy Ray and Lindsay for your presentation on the NCUA's 2024 annual performance plan and thank you to the entire team in the office of the Chief Financial Officer as well as across the agency for your diligent and collaborative efforts in preparing the annual performance plan for the NCUA board's consideration today.

 

I also want to thank my fellow board members for their thoughtful comments and additions and modifications to this management tool. We've made a number of tweaks over the last week and I think that they are all important improvements.

 

As I've said if you don't measure it you can't management. That's why this plan is so important. The NCUA's 2024 annual performance plan includes specific performance measures and targets in support of the goals and the agency's 2022 to 2026 strategic plan.

 

With this performance plan the strategy is in place for two years now. The NCUA continues to uphold its responsibility to ensure that the agency achieves its goals and objectives as outlined in that strategic plan.

 

The performance plan before us today also describes the means strategies and specific actions the agency has resourced and intends to undertake in 2024 to achieve each strategic objective. It also outlines how the agency will measure its performance and continue to effectively supervise and ensure a growing and evolving credit union system including during times of economic uncertainty.

 

This year the plans includes three strategic goals supported by ten strategic objectives with 16 performance goals and 27 performance indicators. It's worth emphasizing what you noted earlier the number of performance indicators is down considerably from prior years.

 

This certainly does not mean that the NCUA will perform any less. Rather the goals were developed to define a more specific outcome and they enable a more focused approach of expected performance. Additionally a more streamlined approach is a management best practice.

 

The 2024 NCUA plan under which we will continue to address consumer financial protection on an equal footing with safety and soundness. In support of this goal the NCUA will increase the target for fair lending exams by 10 moving from 50 to 60 to ensure credit unions are complying with the laws established to protect consumers against discrimination and I know that we have found instances of discrimination in our current fair lending program.

 

Also the NCUA will continue to focus on rising and continuing challenges within the credit union system. Those include liquidity, interest rate, credit and compliance risks as well as the omnipresent cybersecurity risk.

 

Before closing I do have a few questions for the team about the performance plan before us today. The first question relates to fair lending exams which I spoke about a little bit earlier which is an important part of consumer financial protection.

 

With the increase in fair lending exams planned for performance this year how was this metric developed and how are we going to measure it?

 

Thank you, Chairman. The 2024 annual performance plan increases the target for fair lending, as you mentioned, by 10 from 50 to 60. The metric was developed with our colleagues in the Office of Consumer Financial Protection.

 

OCFP will be responsible for reporting on this metric throughout the year. Results will be determined by the number of fair lending examinations completed during calendar year 2024. The agency will monitor progress on all indicators on a quarterly basis throughout the year, including how the agency is doing with regard to completing fair lending exams.

 

So Nancy, just to be clear, I know that we have fair lending exams where we just go out on a fair lending exam. We're also working under the budget that was adopted last month to develop a consumer compliance program for the very largest credit unions under which the NCUA has authority.

 

So those between five to 10 billion this year, that will also have a fair lending component. Will the fair lending components in both of those count towards the overall goal of 60?

 

Yes, they will.

 

Great, thank you. By increasing the number of fair landing examinations, the NCUA will help to ensure that credit unions comply with the laws to protect credit union members against discrimination. My next question concerns our staffing levels and the metric to have no more than a 5% vacancy rate at any given time across the agency.

 

That equates to 62 positions or less. How has this metric developed? Why is it important to meet that goal? And what actions are planned to ensure its successful implementation?

 

I'll answer that. Thank you, Chairman. This metric was developed with our colleagues in the Office of Human Resources and looks at how many positions are open relative to the agency's authorized positions at any given time, as you said.

 

Striving to achieve this goal will ensure the agency is well positioned to meet our mission and achieve the goals and objectives the board has set for the agency. The Office of Human Resources in collaboration with other agency offices and our Talent Management Council will be working to implement strategies to recruit and retain staff to achieve this goal this year.

 

to the As we went into the last year, we set a goal of hiring 70 or so new examiners. That was because we had a vacancy rate of almost 10% in our examiner ranks. Now, examiners are core to just about all that we do when it comes to working with credit unions.

 

To have 10% of your workforce not there means that there were some critical shortages that could occur. We have to make sure that we have a generational change that is starting to occur in our executive ranks as baby boomers leave the workforce.

 

We need to make sure that we have our positions full down here so that as they can meet and learn from examiners that have experience and they get that experience so that they then can become supervisors in the experienced subject matter experts their own and eventually rise up to the executive ranks.

 

That is an important part of succession planning and maintaining the team. I want to say that I'm pleased about this 5% goal. It really doesn't stress it enough. It's something that I will be very much focused on this year.

 

And I should note for the record, and all we onboarded 148 people last year to the agency not counting our interns of which 108 of those were examiners. So we more than exceeded our examiner goal. In fact, as we had turnover and shurn, which you do as people get promotion, of the examinations or perhaps they leave for different opportunities, we have more than filled those ranks.

 

I'm really happy to see us having done that. It's maybe a record for new examiner hires. With that, I will move over and just make a few comments about the spirit of transparency and accountability that I want to remind all stakeholders that the results of our annual performance plan measures are reported each year in the annual performance plan to Congress.

 

As you noted earlier, Nancy, additionally, the Office of the Chief Financial Officer provides quarterly updates that the NCA Board uses to track progress and, if necessary, take appropriate and corrective actions to get us back on track.

 

Finally, this plan provides the NCA with a roadmap for measuring performance, but it's the dedication and the hard work of the NCA team that will allow us to succeed as an agency. I'm proud to serve alongside each of you.

 

I know that together we will fulfill our goals and continue to protect the credit union members and the system of cooperative credit. That concludes my remarks and I now recognize the Vice Chairman.

 

Thank you, sir, and congratulations on getting it done and being at the table. I know that's not always a good thing. I want to congratulate everyone that worked on the plan. This sets out our priorities supporting the agency's mission to protect the system of cooperative credit and its member owner, something that's very different than any other type of financial entity in this country.

 

This plan also supports the agency's vision to strengthen communities and protect consumers by ensuring financial inclusion. Those are impressive ideals, but no less so than the ideals of the credit union movement itself.

 

Those ideals are pursued to the agency's overarching goals to ensure a safe and sound system, improve the financial well -being of individuals in their communities, and maximize NCUA's organizational performance.

 

I'm pleased to see this plan puts greater focus on output and outcome -oriented results. I'm grateful for the Includence of Performance indicator to 1 .22 regarding the post -examination survey. Safety and soundness is improved by open and transparent communication with credit unions.

 

By further anonymizing the post -exam survey responses, I'm not referring to the diversity survey, I'm referring to the post -exam survey, which I'll take every opportunity to say all 3 ,000 federal credit unions.

 

I recommend that they record those exams as well. It's very easy to do. One of the only benefits of the pandemic is everybody had to figure out how to use video conferencing, Zoom, Teams. And even if you're in person to set up a computer to do it, it is expected that every single one of our examers are called that.

 

Referring solely to the exit meeting where you get your camel score, there is obviously a place for private conversations, which is 95% of the exam. By further anonymizing the post -exam survey responses, NCUA continued to normalize the use of the post -exam survey.

 

The hope was simply to improve the survey response rate, but performance indicator 1 .22 takes it a step further. It sets the standard for outcomes of 90% or greater on collaboration, narrative, and timely delivery of the exam report.

 

As the chairman said, what gets measured gets done. We routinely hear from credit unions that say, I'm already halfway to my next exam, but I don't have the last exam report from four months ago. I want to urge credit credit unions to record their exit meetings and their joint conferences.

 

These recordings are beneficial for the credit unions and the agency as they provide a resource for new examiners, credit union staff, and boards. We've already had exams where there's a brand new credit union CEO who'd never worked there before, a brand new examiner, neither party was at the prior exam.

 

Do you know how useful it is to be able to read the transcript, which are easily produced by things like Zoom or Teams? It's made everyone life better. It's not a gotcha, it's not trying to find misconduct.

 

It is simply availing ourselves of the technology that has mercifully allowed us to not have to argue anymore about what was said, and we only have to discuss whether or not it was the correct thing to do and how people were supposed to proceed.

 

I do have one question. I noticed the plan is more streamlined in the last years, something I appreciate. Obviously, if everything's a priority, nothing is a priority. Should stakeholders be worried about the items that were taken out of last year's plan or we've retired?

 

Thank you, Vice Chairman. Measures for program outputs and other milestones in past and performance plans will continue with the agency as appropriate or evolve as appropriate to help progress toward achieving the outcomes outlined in the end performance plan.

 

So these activities support the agency's efforts to achieve results and will further our strategic goals and objectives.

 

I have merit on my desktop obviously as board member. I don't use it day to day the way examiners do, but I did appreciate that for federal credit, it says right there in the exam report, was it recorded?

 

Yes, no. Because of that data, we know which reasons or examiners that for some reason an examiner doesn't have much recorded. We now have a quantifiable measure to figure out what's going on and why more of theirs are not being recorded.

 

Again, solely referring to the exit meeting and joint conferences with the board. The exam itself is entirely private as well as should be. That concludes my remarks back to Chairman Harper.

 

Thank you, Vice Chairman Hopman, Board Member Otsuka. You're now recognized.

 

Thank you, Chair Harper. Thank you to the staff for the presentation. I appreciate NC Way's transparency and the measures included in the performance plan. I agree. I think it's nice to be able to be outcome -oriented and make sure that the things that we're doing are actually getting done.

 

I think it's important for the NC Way to understand how credit unions are using technology to enhance member services and improve their operations. I think the Chair and Vice Chair and I agree on that.

 

I just, you know, I want to point out technology is important in our changing financial system, but it is critical for us to make sure that technology is used in a safe and sound manner, and then it does not harm members or result in the violation of consumer protection laws.

 

This is one area of the performance plan. The NC Way should be ensuring that credit unions are appropriately engaging in overseeing third -party vendors and technology providers to mitigate and manage risks.

 

So I just want to highlight that as something that I'm concerned about and focused on. I also appreciate the goals established related to financial inclusion. The performance plan includes a target to increase coordination between the NC Way and the CDFI fund.

 

This is something that I've heard about a lot over the past year or so. CDFI credit unions play an important role in helping reach underserved and marginalized communities. Enhanced coordination between the NC Way and the CDFI fund will help ensure that these CDFI credit unions have the resources they need to best support their members, and there's an understanding of the unique characteristics of CDFI credit unions that other types of CDFI institutions may not share.

 

The annual performance plan also includes a new metric related to underserved area field of membership expansions. These expansions can be a tool to increase credit unions opportunity to serve communities, but it's important that they include meaningful access through convenient offices and branches and lower -priced financials products and services.

 

Finally, the performance plan has set a target of 60 fair lending exams in 2024. Chair Harper mentioned it. Fair lending exams help ensure credit unions are fairly and equitably reaching all their members.

 

Unfortunately, we've seen that redlining and lending discrimination still exists. They continue to be a problem today, and so this will just be an area of focus for me to make sure that all members are being served.

 

I support a strong consumer compliance program, and I'd like to work with my fellow board members to continue to strengthen our fair lending and consumer protection efforts. Thank you again for your presentation.

 

I have no questions, but appreciate all the work that went into this, and thank you to my fellow board members for their collaboration.

 

Absolutely. And please know that I fully agree with you on the importance of CDFI institutions and the work that they perform. I know that one thing that Cure is taking a look at now that the CDFI fund has come out with its new standards for application, whether we can reinstate a streamlined process that helps credit unions complete the forms that they need in the data analysis along the way.

 

And I'll be looking forward to seeing how that collaborate and coordinate more this year. Vice Chairman Hopman, is there a motion?

 

Yes, sir. I move that the board approve the N2A 2024 annual performance plan as attached to the board action memorandum.

 

Is there a second to the motion? Second. There is a sufficient second. All those in favor say aye. Aye. Aye. All those opposed say nay. The ayes have it and let the record show that the motion passed, 3 to 0.

 

Before we conclude our board meeting today, I would like to pause and thank former NCUA Chairman and recent board member Rodney Hood for his outstanding service. Rodney belongs to an elite group of just three people whom the Senate has twice confirmed to serve on the NCUA board.

 

First between 2005 and 2009 and more recently between 2019 and 2020 -24. For the last five years, we jointly, as we jointly went through the confirmation process and then served on the NCUA board together, I have come to appreciate deeply Rodney's commitment to increasing financial inclusion, giving others a second chance, advocating for financial innovation, and creating the DEI summit, which is now an annual event.

 

His efforts in each of these areas has changed the agency and the credit union system for the better. Notably, Rodney also led the NCUA when the COVID pandemic first took root. His steady hand during those uncertain times helped to steer the agency and its team through a pandemic that would change all of our lives.

 

With his deep commitment to financial inclusion, Rodney additionally built out an agency initiative to expand access to safe, fair, and affordable financial services. What's more, Rodney believes deeply in the power of giving others a second chance that comes from his religious training and commitment.

 

He championed the second chance policy statement, one of the first things we did as an NCUA board after he became chairman in 2019. His work here was forward thinking as Congress acted on the issue a few years later.

 

Rodney's visionary leadership further resulted in the creation of new NCUA offices focused on financial innovation and access, ethics and anti -harassment, and credit union liquidity needs. The NCUA and the credit union system are stronger for all of that.

 

But his most enduring legacy will likely be the agency's now annual diversity, equity, and inclusion summit, a must attend yearly event for industry and thought leaders. Through his work on these many issues and many, many more, board memberhood has built a durable legacy that will shape credit unions, the NCUA, and the system for many years to come.

 

So I want to thank him for a job well done. Vice Chairman Hultman, is there anything you'd like to share about our former board member?

 

Yes, sir. A couple of brief remarks. As was stated yesterday, there was a nice event for him. Rodney had two terms at NCUA, which happened to coincide for, of the 44 years NCUA has existed, Rodney was on the board for the two most difficult chaotic things that have happened in the 44 year history.

 

One was the financial crisis. High Fart. 2008. Not only did that yield to yield issues for credit unions, and the agency, it led to an issue with the corporate credit unions, which people's argue about to this day.

 

He served admirably in that case. And then of course, the second one was in 2020, where this country lost 21 million jobs in 30 days. And he performed admirably then as chairman at that time, in both of those cases.

 

So someone who the two most difficult chaotic things that have ever happened, I think NCUA and credit unions are the most difficult in both of those cases. Rodney and I were friends long before I got on this agency, and I know we'll be friends long after.

 

And I do, I did enjoy the two in -person DEI summits that we've had since I've been at NCUA. I know Rodney believes strongly that individuals should be treated as individuals, not as members of state -determined groups.

 

And that is how both NCUA and credit unions, and for that matter, America perform best. All I can say is that I'm very much looking forward to what Rodney does best. He's somebody for whom each swing is bigger than his last.

 

And I know he's gonna add tremendous value to whoever he hooks up with next. Back to you, gentlemen.

 

I like that analogy. Board Member Otska.

 

like Kyle has a baseball analogies today. Yeah, I'd like to take a moment to thank the Honorable Rodney Hood for his many years of public service and dedication to the NCUA. He's led many initiatives to promote financial inclusion during his tenure, some of which Chair and Vice Chair have already mentioned.

 

But some of those are the access initiative. He was the board chair of NeighborWorks, America. And he led the NCUA's inaugural DEIA summit, which has expanded into several days long event with attendees from across the credit union community.

 

I'm eager to continue this important work, along with Chair Harper and Vice Chair Hopman, to create a strong and equitable financial system. And as I mentioned at the top of the meeting, Mr. Hood has been extremely welcoming and supportive of my transition to serving on the board.

 

He has spoken so highly of the NCUA and its staff. And it was great to celebrate his accomplishments yesterday at his farewell event that Kyle mentioned. And I wish him all the best in his future endeavors.

 

So appreciate him and appreciate you all. Absolutely.

 

Thank you all. That is the end of our agenda today. There being no further business.

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