Regulators from Gulf Coast states have been invited to participate in an industry-sponsored three hour/workshop/seminar Aug. 30 exploring examiner flexibility on BP oil spill loans to fishermen, boat operators, and small businesses, it was announced Tuesday.
Conducting the "Credit Union Response to the Gulf Oil Spill" online session at Pen Air FCU in Pensacola is the League of Southeastern Credit Unions, which has invited CU supervisors from Florida and Alabama. The Louisiana Office of Financial Institutions said it received notice of the webinar and will have representatives join with a similar scenario likely in Mississippi.
"Even though the oil has stopped flowing, the true economic impact for the region is just now starting to be felt," said Patrick La Pine,president/CEO of LSCU. "We have begun working with government officials, including our regulators, to see what credit unions can do to assist the region with its economic recovery and that includes the people and small businesses that are hurting."
On loans, the hope, said an LSCU spokesman, is "to see some flexibility from the regulators."
Sidney Seymour, chief examiner of the Louisiana Office of Financial Institutions, said his agency is "prepared to be flexible in our discussions with credit unions" on workout loans cognizant however, that such credits be extended in a prudent manner. CU managers should not expect such loans "to be automatically criticized." The agency, he said, will be following guidelines on oil spill loans as laid down in a joint July 14 directive sent out by the Federal Reserve, FDIC, Comptroller of the Currency and the NCUA.