NCUA IG Reproves Examiners On Failures
If the NCUA and state examiners had been more aggressive in their oversight of 10 failed credit unions and management had been more effective and taken fewer risks, losses to the NCUSIF could have been reduced, according to a report by the NCUA's Office of Inspector General.
The report analyzed and summarized the agency's earlier material-loss reviews of 10 natural person credit union that cost the NCUSIF $522 million.
The report summarizes previously issued material-loss reviews on the following failures: Cal State 9 CU, Center Valley FCU, Clearstar Financial CU, Eastern Florida Financial CU, Ensign FCU, Huron River Area CU, High Desert FCU, New London Security CU, Norlarco CU and St. Paul Croatian FCU.
Management shortcomings were evident at all 10 credit unions. One failure-Center Valley FCU-was caused by fraud. Two failures-New London Security CU and St. Paul Croatian FCU-were caused by alleged frauds.
The report published a chart saying that poor examination procedures were in evidence at all of the credit unions except Norlarco, which got into financial trouble because of its loans to real estate construction in Florida. Norlarco's failure cost the NCUSIF of $10 million.
According to the report, at Center Valley FCU examiners didn't assess the credit union's weak internal controls when assessing transaction risk and the effectiveness of management. The failure cost the NCUSIF $16.4 million.
At New London Security CU, though examiners noted the lack of internal control over investments, they "failed to expand examination procedures or elevate such issues for stronger supervisory actions." The failure cost the NCUSIF $12 million.
At St. Paul Croatian FCU, examiners didn't assess the weakness of the credit union's internal controls and failed to ensure that the credit union took corrective action on document of resolution issues. The failure cost the insurance fund $170 million.
The report also noted the following management shortcomings: excessive concentration risk was evident at all 10 credit unions; excessive credit risk was in evidence at eight credit unions; liquidity risk and member business loans caused problems at seven credit unions; and problems with new services and third party due diligence caused problems at six of the credit unions.
Poor decisions by managers "created credit, liquidity, and concentration risks, as well as other significant issues that management did not, or could not, effectively manage because the risks and associated issues had become too interrelated and inseparable."
At Cal State 9 CU, the report found that management's strategic plans for its indirect HELOC program were inadequate and that overall it had weak oversight over the credit union's operations. Its cost to the NCUSIF was $206 million.
The report found that the management of Ensign FCU did inadequate strategic planning on its real estate loans and had "weak and unresponsive" oversight. Its failure cost the NCUSIF $30 million.
At Eastern Florida Financial Credit Union managers had inadequate plans for investing in collateralized debt obligations. That failure cost the fund $40 million.
To improve examinations in the future, the report recommended several changes, including improve guidance to examiners on assigning CAMEL ratings to credit unions that implement revised business plans, reemphasize the examination guidance for third-party relationships, stronger guidance for the examination of due diligence over fast-growing new programs, a secondary review of all CAMEL rating determinations for credit unions with assets of more than $100 million and a breakout of unfunded commitments by loan type on 5300 Call Reports to better track loan concentrations.
The agency accepted all those recommendations except the one on providing a secondary review of CAMEL ratings for credit unions with more than $100 million. The agency said that the threshold "seems too low for this increased administrative review process."