The NCUA has consistently swept its oversight failures beneath a rug woven with our members' money. And, to add insult to injury, the NCUA simply shuffled the deck and some of the responsible parties have either showed up in different roles within the agency or been promoted. Now, if you or I had been as grossly negligent in running our CUs as the NCUA has been in the oversight of many failed CUs as well as our corporate network, we would have been forced to accept our fate and fall on our sword.
It is long overdue for the voices of credit union leaders to be heard in unison. We can no longer allow the NCUA the luxury of paying off its mistakes with our members' money without any consequence. Therefore, I am one of many of you who have lent your signatures to a recent petition calling for greater congressional scrutiny of the NCUA. (More details from the petition can be found at www.ipetitions.com/petition/change-ncua-now.)
I support and applaud Randy Karnes and CU*Answers for their efforts to awaken the sleeping giant among us. He is challenging us to engage in grassroots dialogue and activism through a new channel by using Internet petitions. The idea is simply to add more voices to the issues we're facing and encourage more transparent debate, as well as give those who might be reluctant to speak out a channel to do so.
Our hired expert advocates (the trades) have had their turns at bat and their batting averages should place them squarely in the hall of shame. Time after time we've put them in the lineup, and they have repeatedly struck out: CURIA, business lending, interchange, courtesy pay to cite just a few of our more recent costly concerns.
We are fighting against our eradication as an industry as the NCUA continues its high-handed practices. Evidenced by the piling on of more and more budget-busting compliance burdens for those who have already overdosed on regulatory reform, handing out 5%-8% pay raises at our expense and adding 100 more examiners to enforce more of the same ineffective policies.
Oftentimes extraordinary times require extraordinary measures to get the attention of those who pretend to know what is best for us and just aren't listening. Our hired leaders must hear us when we say we can no longer afford to support (financially or otherwise) self-proclaimed "trusted experts" who are apologetic for us and operate with the mind set that credit unions need to go along to get along.
At a time when our survival demands common sense, this sort of lunacy needs to be rejected by a tidal wave of CU voices, including the trades, associations, CUSOs, suppliers, and credit union partners. Karnes is helping provide the channels for increased activism. We need to support these efforts to create a clearer, uncensored voice for credit unions that is inclusive of all our stakeholders. Thank you, Randy!
Thomas M. Miller
Affinity Group Credit Union