CAMEL Disclosure: Exam Issue Looms Again in Carolinas D.C. Visit
The thorny and bitter North Carolina dispute over NCUA dual examinations at state-chartered credit unions will get a new airing next month as part of a Hike the Hill visit by the North and South Carolina credit union leagues.
Meanwhile, North Carolina’s top credit union regulator, Jerrie Jay, said she still hopes for a Raleigh meeting with top NCUA attorneys to resolve the dispute, which began after the state gave permission to State Employees’ Credit Union to publicly release its CAMEL rating.
“I have no report from OIG (the NCUA Office of Inspector General) and NCUA continues to refuse to come to discuss,” said Jay, the state’s credit union administrator who for months has been the target of sharp NCUA criticism for her role in allowing the CAMEL disclosure.
Jay was referring to a probe of the CAMEL flap reportedly under way by William DeSarno, head of the NCUA OIG who has declined invitations to come to the North Carolina capital to meet with Jay and hopefully resolve their differences.
In the meantime, SECU President Jim Blaine has since repeatedly apologized for causing North Carolina credit unions financial and operational distress since dual exams began in January and concluded in February.
However, Blaine also stands by his decision to make the disclosure, which he said was in the name of transparency, and accused the NCUA of undertaking “malicious, retaliatory actions” against Jay and the 52 state chartered credit unions in North Carolina because of SECU actions.
NCUA has denied the charges and said it was following established policies.
“Misfeasance, malfeasance and egregious retaliation by the NCUA against North Carolina state-chartered credit unions could not be more clear nor more inexcusable,” Blaine wrote in an April 11 letter to Michael Egan, director of investigations for NCUA’s OIG.
Meanwhile, the two Carolinas leagues will soon be in Washington. The South Carolina League said it will be holding its first Hike the Hill meeting with NCUA since 2007 along with visits to the capitol. The Palmetto State is sending 22 people to the May 8-9 meetings while North Carolina plans to send 15, the leagues said.
A spokesman for the North Carolina League, which itself has unsuccessfully tried to mediate the NCUA/Jay/Blaine imbroglio, said, “We plan to talk with NCUA primarily about exam-related issues.”
The meeting at the NCUA “is an opportunity to share our thoughts and concerns and to hear directly from Chairman Matz and senior staff. We’ve incorporated NCUA meetings into past Hike the Hill trips and it’s been a valuable exchange,” the league spokesman said. “Of course, one of the issues we’re dealing with is dual exams on state-chartered credit unions and that will be one of the items we discuss,” the spokesman said.