NCUA allocates surplus funds to technology, security, HR – American Banker

With budget calculations showing a projected surplus of funding, the National Credit Union Administration is allocating more resources to technology, analysis and employees.

At the NCUA’s monthly board meeting, agency officials stated that lower-than-authorized staffing levels and COVID-19 travel restrictions played a significant role in the sizable abundance of funds. Between an estimated $15 million surplus as of July 31st, and a projected surplus balance of $13.7 million from 2020 funds rolled over, the regulator expects to end the year with a total surplus of roughly $28.6 million.

To put that money to work, the NCUA board approved a proposal to allocate approximately $2.4 million to cybersecurity, employee relocations, human capital support, and executive briefings and analysis support.

The reallocation will help strengthen the agency, said Todd Harper, chairman of the NCUA board.

“As a steward of the credit union system, the NCUA board has a responsibility to spend — and save — these extra dollars wisely,” Harper said. “The proposed changes to the 2021 budget and staffing levels make prudent investments and pragmatic commitments aimed at achieving important policy goals related to cybersecurity, ethics, agency operations and workforce diversity, equity, and inclusion.”

The NCUA also approved a proposal to add seven new positions related to the agency’s cybersecurity programs, the board secretary and the Office of Ethics Counsel. Three new positions are dedicated to cybersecurity, three to the Office of Ethics Counsel and one to aid the board secretary.

Kyle Hauptman, vice chairman of the NCUA board, stressed the importance of cybersecurity at both the agency and credit union level, as well as the need to quickly identify threats, protect data and safely recover from hacking incidents.

“The increased trend of cyberattacks that began in 2020 has shown no signs of slowing down in 2021,” Hauptman said. “None of us want to be the weak link when it comes to cybersecurity. The NCUA is constantly stressing to credit unions the importance of their cybersecurity, thus it is obviously incumbent upon NCUA to walk the walk and protect our own systems.”

After the $2.4 million allocation, and an additional $1.6 million in approved employee leave payouts, the surplus estimate for the NCUA budget drops to $24.6 million for 2021.


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