Alabama One Cease & Desist: Replace Executives, Train Board
The Alabama Credit Union Administration and NCUA have required the troubled $602 million Alabama One Credit Union to replace its CEO, COO and chief lending officer.
Those instructions came in a wide-ranging April 2, 2015 cease and desist order the ACUA published on its website on April 24. The NCUA affirmed the order. Officials from the ACUA and NCUA visited Alabama One headquarters Thursday during the cooperative's board meeting.
The cease and desist refrained from saying that CEO John Dee Carruth must be fired, but made clear Alabama One was expected to have a qualified person in that management position.
“Within 60 days of the effective date of this order, the credit union shall recruit and retain qualified management with the qualifications and experience commensurate with assigned duties and responsibilities to at the Credit Union,” the ACUA wrote. “Each member of management shall be provided appropriate written authority from the board to implement the provisions of this Order,” the agency added.
The CEO must have “proven ability in managing a credit union of comparable size and in effectively implementing lending, investment and operating policies in accordance with safe and sound practices and in ensuring compliance with all applicable laws, rules, regulations and regulatory orders, directives, prohibitions and recommendations,” the ACUA added.
“The administrator and credit union board have found that the credit union and/or one or more of the credit union’s officers, directors, committee members, or employees … have engaged in unsafe or unsound practices and violations of law, rule or regulation, have committed fraudulent or questionable practices in the conduct of the credit union’s business and have violated conditions imposed in writing by the administrator, thus leading to the issuance of this order,” the agency wrote.
The ACUA also demanded that within 90 days of the order, the cooperative must train each board member and the training must include, at a minimum, lending, operations, compliance as well as board duties in running a safe and sound credit union and potential liabilities for board members for failing to do so.
Further, if any of the board members or executive staff leave Alabama One, the ACUA and NCUA will have to approve the hiring of any people to replace them on the board or staff, according to the order.
The order also mandated Alabama One discontinue member business lending, hire an outside law or auditing firm to independently review all the credit union’s loan transactions with Danny Ray Butler and establish a Suspicious Activity Report and Currency Transaction Report procedures.
It must also maintain a net worth of at least 7% (as of December 2014, the credit union’s ratio stood at 10.4%) and charge off any assets or portion of assets classified as loss and 50% of any assets classified as doubtful, the agency wrote.
Alabama One must also not extend any more business loans to its members nor modify any existing business loans as well as reduce its portfolio of non-performing assets, the ACUA wrote.
The cooperative must also come up with a plan to improve its liquidity and asset liability management as well as develop written policies and procedures to guide Board members on conflicts of interest in approving loans or paying fees for services to family members or other insiders, according to the order.
Alabama One must also ensure its allowance for loan losses is adequate, have at least 33% of its overall loan portfolio reviewed by an outside firm each year and develop a management plan for the real estate on its books, the ACUA wrote.
The agency also forbid Alabama One from paying any bonuses to employees or officers or authorize any salary increases and demanded the credit union develop an overall strategic plan.
ACUA also set up a schedule under which Alabama One has to make regular progress reports and required the credit union provide a copy of the order or a material description of it to all its members.
ACUA also noted in the order that Alabama One has 10 days after the receipt of the order to appeal it. No one from the credit union or its law firm have yet commented on the order or said whether it would appeal.