NCUA Examiners Should be Engaged in Dialogue: Lobbyist McKechnie
Credit unions, complaining of regulation overload, were urged Thursday by a former NCUA staffer to try engaging with agency examiners by adopting a more positive tone in finding alternatives and compromise.
Addressing the annual meeting of the Montana Credit Union Network in Billings, John McKechnie, former NCUA director of public and congressional affairs and now a Washington lobbyist, called on credit unions to avoid what he called “push back” in dealing with examiners and instead pursue alternative ideas or solutions to sticky examiner issues.
McKechnie, senior vice president of Total Spectrum, a Washington consulting firm, said he appreciates the alarm expressed by credit union executives about what they consider excessive regulation but said a civil discussion can work well in approaching conflicts.
“Basically credit unions are feeling the effects of what they perceive to be an overly rigid regulatory regime and are looking for ways to add their perspective to NCUA's thinking,” observed McKechnie.
“I always suggest credit unions engage in more dialogue with NCUA rather than less, the offering of alternative approaches to a proposed rule or exam policy and reliance on real-world, member-focused experience,” he said.
As an example, McKechnie pointed to the NCUA’s new interest rate risk rule, set to go into effect in September, as a situation “where some credit unions are already articulating a reasonable yet different way of looking at a complex issue.”
The new regulation requires $50 million-plus credit unions to create a written policy to address IRR management, and McKechnie said CEOs can work with examiners in coming up with constructive ideas on the “one size fits all” concept.