With budget calculations showing an expected funding surplus, the National Credit Union Administration is allocating more resources to technology, analytics, and employees.
At the NCUA’s monthly board meeting, agency officials said lower-than-permitted staffing levels and COVID-19-related travel restrictions played a significant role in the considerable abundance of funds. Between an estimated surplus of $ 15 million as of July 31 and a projected surplus balance of $ 13.7 million from rolled-over 2020 funds, the regulator expects to end the year with a total surplus of around 28, $ 6 million.
To put that money to good use, the NCUA Board of Directors approved a proposal to allocate approximately $ 2.4 million for cybersecurity, employee relocations, human capital support, executive briefings and analysis support.
The reassignment will help strengthen the agency, said Todd Harper, NCUA board chair.
“As the manager 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 to achieve important policy goals related to cybersecurity, ethics, agency operations and diversity, equity and inclusion of the workforce. “
The NCUA also approved a proposal to add seven new positions related to the agency’s cybersecurity programs, secretary to the board of directors, and the office of the ethics counselor. Three new positions are dedicated to cybersecurity, three in the Office of Ethics Counselors and one to assist the Board Secretary.
Kyle Hauptman, NCUA vice chairman of the board, highlighted the importance of cybersecurity at the branch and credit union level, as well as the need to quickly identify threats, protect data and recover safely after hacking incidents.
“The growing trend of cyber attacks that started 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 constantly emphasizes the importance of their cybersecurity to credit unions. So obviously it’s incumbent on the NCUA to act and protect our own systems.
After the allocation of $ 2.4 million and an additional $ 1.6 million in approved employee leave pay, the NCUA’s budget surplus estimate falls to $ 24.6 million for 2021.