CAMEL Fracas in N.C. Has Legs
Now in its sixth month, the CAMEL rating stalemate in North Carolina between the NCUA and the North Carolina Credit Union Division morphed into new territory last week with Jim Blaine, the president/CEO of State Employees’ Credit Union, again attacking the NCUA’s credibility.
Specifically, the head of the $24 billion Raleigh CU continued his combative and critical stance against NCUA policy over starting dual exams. He also complained about misstatements by top agency officials during a meeting last December with state Credit Union Administrator Jerrie Jay.
The issue now, said Blaine, is to examine how the NCUA is bent on injuring the dual banking system through its practices.
Blaine, who has waged a campaign critical of NCUA policies, acknowledged once again the pilot CAMEL disclosure of state-issued ratings last September may have been an error. However, now, he said, top NCUA brass needs to come clean about its tactics as evidenced in a Dec. 5 meeting and an earlier Sept. 19 session.
“It’s not just going to be very embarrassing for some people at that agency” on NCUA missteps in dealing with his CU’s CAMEL rating disclosure last September, Blaine said.
The State Employees’ CEO has been invited to a March 14 meeting in Raleigh along with the NCUA’s Inspector General William A. DeSarno to hear the tapes from the Dec. 5 meeting between Jay and top NCUA executives.
The meeting will be conducted by Jay over what she said are misleading statements made by Herbert Yolles, the Atlanta Regional Director who has been a key figure in the CAMEL rating controversy. Also being asked to explain their roles are David Marquis, NCUA executive director, and Michael McKenna, NCUA general counsel. Philip Woods, special North Carolina deputy attorney general, has also been invited to the meeting.
Top NCUA officials have refrained from commenting on the taping or whether they would agree to come to the March 14 meeting. The agency has denied its intent is to harm the dual banking structure but has apologized to the 52 state-chartered CUs in North Carolina that were affected by the dual exams for being inconvenienced.
Those exams, now over, have roiled the industry over the last month with an uncertain number threatening now to switch charters, said the North Carolina Credit Union League, which has tried to mediate the dispute.