Randy Karnes, CEO of CU*Answers, is calling for credit unions to stand up and sign a petition to "clearly state our absolute dissatisfaction and vote of No Confidence with the current policies and practices of the current governing administration, the NCUA Board of Directors."
An e-mail from Karnes states, "We hope you will consider the petition. While we understand that this petition calls for drastic measures, we believe that the debate currently led by those who speak for the credit union industry simply sets our goals too low. It is time to wake up our industry to the fact that unless we push for real change, nothing will truly evolve."
He added, "If you would like to see people at the table to discuss change, push for it. If you think that we may have unknowingly relinquished our hopes and dreams to others whose voices are too polished, too much part of the political system, and who have no real bite anymore in carrying our message, then take your voice back."
As of noon, Wednesday, Dec. 22, the petition had just a few dozen signatories, some of which were anonymous.
The petition call drew a response from Michigan CU League President/CEO Dave Adams, who wrote in an e-mail to Michigan credit unions, "The specific points of the petition included calling for greater Congressional scrutiny of the NCUA, splitting the NCUSIF from the NCUA and establishing requirements for the NCUA Board members that would require at least two of them to be removed from office. The petition condemns the NCUA as being ineffective and calls for dramatic change by Congress. While I know many credit union leaders may support these points out of anger and disappointment with the NCUA, I simply suggest that our industry should pursue a more careful and properly executed strategy as opposed to one that might result in unintended consequences.
"I would never dissuade anyone in our industry from raising their voice. In fact, we are raising our voice with the NCUA with a recent MCUL letter that objects to the 2011 NCUA budget and many other actions recently taken by the NCUA. Similar letters have been sent by CUNA and other state leagues. We have also encouraged other industry leaders to express similar concerns to the NCUA."
He went on to write, "Despite the shared passion for change that individual credit union leaders share with their trade associations, I believe that we should always realize that the only effective way to do lobbying is to trust the experts, CUNA and state leagues with both their paid and elected officials, to use inclusive and democratic processes to formulate positions and then determine the most effective lobbying tactics for pursuing those legislative and regulatory objectives. When I say, 'trust', I mean the process and the leadership. The formulation of positions and the grassroots lobbying requires broad-based involvement by individual credit union leaders from credit unions, CUSOs and other support organizations."
Thus, he discouraged the "well-intentioned petition" because "it hasn't been properly coordinated with the trade associations that are hired to represent our industry. Further, I believe that the core positions being taken by the petition are counter to the current positions of CUNA and state associations. That is, we want to preserve our independent regulator despite its shortcomings."