The CAMEL rating standoff between NCUA and the North Carolina Credit Union Division showed no signs of change Tuesday despite a new attempt over the weekend by the North Carolina Credit Union League to bring sides together for a meeting.
The latest attempt to resolve the conflicting legal claims about publishing the CAMEL rating of the $26 billion State Employees’ Credit Union of Raleigh arose in an exchange of emails between the treasurer of the league, Jeffery R. Jones, and Herbert R. Yolles, NCUA’s Atlanta Region director.
“Just wanted to drop you a quick note to express how disappointed I am that you, or someone from NCUA, will not participate in a town hall meeting in North Carolina,” wrote Jones in urging NCUA’s legal staff or NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz to come to the state to resolve the fracas which has brought burdensome dual exams to 52 state-chartered CUs. NCUA has said it has no choice but to pursue such a policy because of the clash with North Carolina CU Administrator Jerrie Jay.
“I said during our discussion a couple of weeks ago that agreeing to a meeting of that nature was essential to maintenance of the agency’s credibility in our state and to those watching nationally,” wrote Jones, who also is president/CEO of the $51 million Freedom Federal CU of Rocky Mount.
“I believe that is still true. When it is announced that you have refused to come to North Carolina, your standing with our state’s credit unions will take a significant hit. I realize that being a regulator is not a popularity contest. But having the respect of the regulated has value. This seems especially true in times when regulators are being called to account before the United States Congress,” said Jones.
“By failing to engage our state’s credit unions, your harshest critics will claim that you have proven them right. In my mind, this is especially unfortunate given that you seem to be in the right on the CAMEL issue,” said Jones, noting he differs with SECU Chairman/CEO Jim Blaine who spearheaded a CAMEL disclosure last September as part of what he admits has become an emotionally charged issue involving transparency and charges of NCUA overreach.
Jones said he heard from Yolles today that he appreciates the league stance but NCUA is sticking to its position with no plans to come to North Carolina.
Jones contends NCUA still can come to North Carolina to engage in a dialogue with North Carolina CUs and Jay. In his Feb. 17 email he wrote that “on the public relations front, I’m afraid NCUA’s tone deafness has only succeeded in snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.”