Over the past 10 years, not once has a credit union won an exam appeal heard by the NCUA’s Supervisory Review Committee.
According to statistics released by the agency, prompted by a Freedom of Information Act request by Credit Union Times, the NCUA SRC has heard just four appeals since Jan. 1, 2002, and none ruled in the credit union’s favor.
The central exam issues of the four appeals included CAMEL code assignments and loan classification.
Credit unions fared better on the regional level, but still only prevailed 27% of the time. Since Jan. 1, 2007, regional SRCs have heard 48 appeals related to exam disputes. Of those, 13 were ruled in the credit union’s favor, the agency said.
In addition to CAMEL code assignment and loan classification disputes, exam issues at the regional level included documents of resolution, allowance for loan and lease losses, and wording changes in the exam.
NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz has said in letters to trade associations and during Listening Sessions that the agency encourages credit unions to use the four-step exam appeals process if they disagree with exam findings.
If discussions with the examiner and supervisory examiner are unsuccessful, credit unions can elevate the matter to the regional director, and further to the national SRC, a three-person panel composed of senior NCUA executives.
“Surprisingly, few credit unions actually avail themselves of this fourth step in the appeals process,” Matz wrote in an April 17 letter to CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney.
That letter was in response to HR 3461, the Financial Institutions Examination Fairness and Reform Act, which would require examiners to cite authority for exam exceptions.