More credit unions said they saw improvements last year in the NCUA examination process, but experienced a decline in their examiners’ capabilities, according to a survey published in the September issue of NAFCU’s monthly Economic & CU Monitornewsletter.
Monitoring the exam process and lobbying NCUA for improvements on behalf of its members is something that NAFCU has been doing for some time, trade association officials said Sept. 16.
The dichotomy among anecdotal responses creates interesting comparisons, according to Carrie Hunt, NAFCU’s senior vice president of government affairs and general counsel.
“Our goal is to have everyone have a fair exam that is not problematic to the credit union,” Hunt said. “We want to make sure the transparency is there to make that happen.”
Credit unions responding to the year survey provided mixed results.
Roughly one in eight, or 12.2%, said the exam process was worse than in the past, while 24.5% said the process was better.
Conversely, 8.3% of respondents found their examiner to be more competent than in the past, while 14.6 % found the examiner less competent.
In addition, 8.7% of survey participants claimed that exam report clarity had improved, while 6.5% thought that clarity had worsened.
“The most surprising result concerned whether exam process had improved,” said Dr. David Carrier, NAFCU’s chief economist and director of research. “When we asked the same questions in August 2012, 0% of credit unions responding said the process was better, while this time more than 24% said it was better.
“Paradoxically, 14.6% of this year’s respondents found examiners less competent, while 8.3% found them less competent in August 2012,” he said.
One possible variable that may have influenced the conflicting score was the reduction in the number of Documents of Resolution credit unions received, Carrier said. The majority of those receiving a DOR said they felt the examiner had made a major issue out of a minor one. However, the number of DORs written decreased compared to last year.
“I don’t know enough about the exam process to know with certainty, but the clue I got was the number of credit unions receiving a DOR this year was 35.4%, whereas last time it was 51.4%,” Carrier said.