It recreated terse conversations between small credit union presidents and examiners which Nelson said credit union leaders have recounted to him. In one conversation, an examiner agreed with a credit union president’s accusations that NCUA is trying to “kill small credit unions.”
“There’s no denying that all credit unions – not just small ones – feel like NCUA is trying to push them out of business,” Nelson wrote in the piece.
Not so, Fryzel countered in his June 11 letter to CUInsight editor Randy Smith.
“Only in (Nelson’s) mind would such an exchange of words take place between a credit union president and an examiner,” Fryzel said.
The board member said he “begged to differ” with Nelson’s assertions. He called the editorial, with the exception of claims of inconsistency, “unfounded, off base and just not correct.”
Nelson defended his editorial to Credit Union Times, saying executives at many credit unions, not just small ones, have speculated that the NCUA would prefer the easier task of regulating fewer credit unions.
The Utah association leader said Wednesday that he’s “still in shock” Fryzel responded to his editorial, although he said he can empathize with Fryzel’s reaction. If someone wrote an article critical of his association, Nelson said he would respond the same way.
However, he said Fryzel’s response indicates NCUA isn’t aware of how some credit unions feel about their regulator.
“I was … surprised at (Fryzel’s) reaction because that's how many credit unions in my circles talk with each other about NCUA all the time. It's an almost weekly topic of conversation,” he said.
The Utah association executive blamed the disconnect between the NCUA and credit unions on indirect, unspecific feedback from trade associations, much like the anecdotal examples he recreated in his editorial.
And, “credit unions fear retaliation if they make too much noise, so they don't give NCUA the useful information it could use to make improvements,” he said.
Fryzel’s office said the board member was willing to speak with Credit Union Times about the letter but due to his schedule, he was unavailable before press time.