Acting North Carolina Credit Union Administrator Rose Conner told Credit Union Times on Monday that she told the NCUA she will not release any state-issued CAMEL codes in the future.
The two regulators agreed Friday to cease separate exams for North Carolina’s state chartered credit unions. The move comes after Conner’s predecessor, retired Administrator Jerrie Jay, green lighted the publication of the $25.5 billion State Employees’ Credit Union’s state CAMEL codes last year, prompting the NCUA to conduct separate exams.
The NCUA had said it would cease the separate exams once the state regulator ended a pilot program that allowed the CAMEL codes release. That program expired in September 2012; however, Conner said “at that point, the NCUA was not apparently ready to go back to doing the dual exams.”
NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz confirmed the agreement, saying, “Administrator Conner has given me her word that NCCUD’s affirmative policy moving forward will not authorize any public release of confidential examination information, especially CAMEL ratings. With this new commitment and policy from the state regulator, we look forward to resuming joint examinations, training, and open communications with NCCUD.”
The North Carolina Credit Union League had pressed for a face-to-face meeting between Matz and Jay to resolve the issue. NCCUL President John Radebaugh said in a Monday press call that meeting did not occur before Jay’s retirement, which was effective Dec. 31.
A North Carolina Credit Union Division employee said Monday that Jay’s retirement was previously planned and was not impacted by the exam fracas; however, he would not speak further on the matter because he said he was not authorized to act as an agency spokesman.
SECU President/CEO Jim Blaine said he was pleased Matz acknowledged it was a mistake to target state-chartered credit unions that had no involvement in the CAMEL release controversy.
“It takes a world-class leader to admit and apologize for such an error,” he said, adding that the tactic had “severely tarnished the reputation and stature” of the NCUA.
Conner stressed she wants to put the issue behind her as the state regulator moves forward in establishing a “good working relationship” with the NCUA.
The two regulators will work out the details of the agreement over the next few days, she said. Those details will include the scheduling of dual exams of state-chartered credit unions with more than $250 million in assets, something the NCUA does in all states. Conner said the agreement will not include stricter parameters for the Tar Heel State.
“I have no reason to believe that our exams will not be accepted in the same way as before,” Conner said. “We have the same credibility we’ve always had.”
The acting administrator also said she’s interested in keeping the job on a permanent basis. The position would be appointed by North Carolina Secretary of Commerce Sharon Allred Decker, who was appointed by newly elected Gov. Pat McCrory last month.