The North Carolina Credit Union League promised Monday to help its member credit unions saddled with extra and lengthy NCUA exams as a fallout from the CAMEL score disclosure fracas pitting federal regulators against state regulators and State Employees’ Credit Union.
Feb. 10, 2012 - NCUA Says Dual Exams Over, For Now
Meanwhile the NCUA said Monday that it was following through on its promise, and the president of one small credit union said she was surprised that NCUA examiners spent so much time re-examining her institution.
She said she was also told that the cost of the exams will be passed on to the NCUSIF; in effect, on to credit unions nationwide that pay into the fund.
In a statement, John Radebaugh, the league’s president/CEO, called the dispute over SECU’s publication of its CAMEL rating and the NCUA’s subsequent startup of dual exams in North Carolina “an unacceptable situation” and one that state CUs “did nothing to cause.”
SECU got state clearance before disclosing its CAMEL score of 2 in October. The NCUA said such disclosures were illegal and could threaten the financial safety of the NCUSIF and the depositors it protects.
The agency also said because of the disclosure, it would no longer do joint exams with the state regulator, instead conducting its own examinations of state-chartered, federally insured credit unions in North Carolina.
John Zimmerman, NCUA public affairs specialist, noted Monday that Region 3 Director Herb Yolles and General Counsel Mike McKenna spoke with the league board last week.
“We have responded to every correspondence that Administrator Jay has written and we will continue to dialogue,” Zimmerman added.
“There is a reason that no other state or federal credit union or bank regulator allows for release of CAMEL ratings,” the NCUA spokesman said. “It goes to core safety and soundness issues starting with confidentiality of examination findings ranging to a run on a financial institution. Until we can resolve that core issue we are proceeding as we said we would do. “
Radebaugh said the matter is one that “clearly” needs to be resolved by the NCUA and the state’s Credit Union Division.
SECU said it was following a long-standing policy about financial openness and transparency and added that it also has a special responsibility as one of only three credit unions of $10 billion or more, putting it under the direct authority, as well, of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
The league statement noted that it still seeks to gather further explanation from NCUA on its dual exam policy in a meeting it hopes to schedule with top regional executives. Such a meeting would allow state CUs “to ask questions and share their frustration.”
That followed a league meeting last Wednesday in Raleigh attended by 70 CU executives in which Jerrie Jay, the state Credit Union Division regulator, expressed her own “bafflement” at the NCUA stance.
In discussing the altered single exam policy led by the state, CU executives at the Wednesday session told Credit Union Times they were surprised by the long visits of NCUA examiners late last week.
“We had NCUA examiners in here for two weeks,” said Genice DeCorte, president/CEO of the $28 million Greensboro Health Care CU, noting that she was told her credit union will not be absorbing the additional expense “but it will be passed on to the NCUSIF.”
In other words, the industry will be paying for the added exams, she said, stressing that she holds nothing against SECU for its role.
“They have been a strong supporter” of CUs in her state, she said, adding that regulators have made it plain “we’ve done nothing wrong” to incur the additional exams.