Nearly half of 120 credit unions surveyed by the Chip Filson-led grassroots organization Co-Ops for Change say the NCUA has not been innovative in its approach to examinations.
The results of the April 2013 survey, released Friday, also revealed 46.2% of respondents feel examinations and ratings are not objective and clear, and 54.3% believe examiners inconsistently interpret NCUA rules when issuing documents of resolution.
“Co-Ops for Change was founded with the intent to promote NCUA policy decisions based on cooperative principles,” said Filson, a founder and chairman of the Washington-based Callahan & Associates. “To succeed, cooperatives need to align credit union and regulatory priorities; this survey is a first step to do that.”
Nearly three-fourths of respondents (71%) indicated it is “important” or “extremely important” for there to be an independent ombudsman outside the NCUA to whom exam issues can be referred. Bills that would establish that position were reintroduced in both the House and Senate in mid-April after failing to advance during the last Congress.
A large majority, 82.4%, said it is “important” or “extremely important” that the NCUA publicly report credit union contributions to national economic priorities like student lending and first-time home buyer programs, boosting the regulator’s role as an industry advocate.
Finally, when asked to reflect on the importance of having positions that oversee the use of the NCUSIF and CLF funds to include credit union and state regulatory representation, 81% of respondents stated it was “important” or “extremely important.”
The survey is still open on the Co-Ops for Change website, and the group said in a release that results will be tabulated monthly.
Launched by Filson in February 2013, Co-Ops for Change aims to better align credit union regulation with the industry’s cooperative philosophy. A petition on the White House website promoting that goal attracted more than 6,000 signatures, but fell far short of the 100,000 required to guarantee a White House response.