Credit union executives seem satisfied with the NCUA's methodology and corporate loss estimates presented at the regulator's Feb. 4 town hall meeting, said Southeastern League of Credit Unions President/CEO Patrick La Pine.
However, attendees asked for specific planning information, like future NCUSIF assessment figures, which the NCUA was unable to provide.
"Overall, I'd say the general sentiment of group was that they understand what's going on, based on what the NCUA presented. Now, everybody wants to start planning ahead," La Pine said. "But, there are still so many unknowns, and NCUA's numbers are still based on models they've run."
Credit unions are past the "shock and awe" of billion dollar losses, he said, and are ready to lower their expectations, adjust their budgets accordingly and "live with bad news for the next few years." However, he said the audience appeared to accept the NCUA's explanation that loss estimates are still a moving target.
La Pine also said NCUA representatives announced they are developing information credit unions can present to their boards that better explains corporate stabilization, which had been requested in previous town hall meetings.
"Right now, I think there's a lot of anger among credit union boards because they managed their credit unions in safe and sound manner, didn't take many risks. Now, they have to pay for the corporate bailout, and they don't understand why," he said. "It's hard for CEOs explain to their boards that we all own the corporate system. That's the way our industry is structured."
All three NCUA board members attended the meeting as well as key staff members, including General Counsel Robert Fenner, Deputy Executive Director Larry Fazio and Director of the Office of Corporate Credit Unions Scott Hunt. It was the last physical town hall meeting on the subject of corporate restructuring. However, a virtual town hall is scheduled for Feb. 18.
"As we conclude this round of town hall Meetings, I first want to thank the credit union industry for the high degree of participation. The opinions and ideas put forth by attendees were extremely helpful and will be invaluable as the NCUA Board moves forward with corporate rule making, improvements to the field of membership regime, and other pertinent matters," commented NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz.
"It is clear that the difficulties encountered because of the corporate situation are real, and their effects are still being assessed by all concerned. Based on the dialogue at the town halls, it is equally clear, however, that the industry is resilient, is forward-looking and remains focused on serving credit union members. I am committed to working with credit unions as the process continues."
The comment period for the proposed corporate rules closes March 9.