Matz, Blaine in Tense Exchange over N.C. Exam Standoff: Onsite Coverage
DENVER — Jim Blaine, president/CEO of the $25 billion State Employees’ Credit Union, took NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz to task during a tense exchange about separate exams for North Carolina’s state-chartered credit unions following Matz’s address Wednesday at the 2012 NASCUS Summit.
Jack Braswell, CEO of the $240 million Members Credit Union in Winston-Salem, N.C., opened the can of worms during Matz’s question-and-answer session when he asked about an invitation the North Carolina Credit Union League had extended to Matz, asking to meet about the exams.
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Braswell asked Matz if she had received the invitation, and if she would be willing to accept it.
Matz said she did receive the invitation and had replied, declining the offer. The NCUA has made clear what North Carolina state credit union regulator Jerrie Jay would have to do to end the duplicate exams, Matz said, and those requirements have not yet been met.
Blaine pressed the issue with a follow-up question, sarcastically introducing himself as representing one of the industry’s “high-risk” large credit unions. Blaine asked why Matz was unwilling to meet with North Carolina league officials and others involved in the dispute, and questioned the agency’s response to other related issues, including the question of whether Jay “leaked” NCUA exam results to SECU.
“I’m not going to acknowledge your question with any comments or a response,” Matz replied.
Blaine responded, saying, “Your unwillingness to listen … says something about the future of the dual chartering system.”
“I’ve said everything I’m going to say on this matter,” Matz replied.
The NCUA began conducting separate examinations of all state-chartered North Carolina credit unions in early 2012 after SECU released its state CAMEL ratings through a pilot program run by Jay.
Jay violated the Federal Credit Union Act by allowing the release and, in turn, violated the trust the NCUA had in the state’s effective regulation, Matz said in February.
So long as the pilot program continues in North Carolina, the separate exams will also. Blaine has said he does not plan to release his CAMEL ratings this year.