Arizona may have a new regulatory team to deal with banks and credit unions but the state has also had to face down a daunting budget crisis, which CU executives claim is hindering the examination process.
The Credit Union Division of the Arizona Department of Financial Institutions has two examiners "or one and a half" as one exec put it, in handling 26 state charters, a number of which have undergone financial stress during the state's deep recession.
Named April 5 as the new superintendent of banking and head of the department is Lauren W. Kingry, a former banker with 39 years in the commercial field who was called in last year to help out a struggling Mesa bank, which eventually failed last December
Discussing the budget problems, Kingry told Credit Union Times Monday he recognizes that the division currently has "base level staffing and we are monitoring each institution closely in-house and in the field to keep up with our statutory mandate of examination."
Speaking of the low examiner ratio, the chairman of the Arizona Credit Union League, Steve Dunham, maintained that "for the long term, this is not a particularly desirable condition to occur in this department for the sake of members and the dual system."
League officials last month met with Kingry and others in the department in what was described as a productive session taking note of the "challenging condition" of the state's economy and budget reductions as ordered by Gov. Jan Brewer on state agencies ranging from water resources to environmental quality.