ALEXANDRIA, Va.-According to a letter from Acting NCUA Chairman Dennis Dollar, the NCUA Board will consider a much talked about proposal to create a more flexible examination schedule for credit unions. The letter, addressed to NAFCU President and CEO Fred Becker, was in response to an earlier correspondence NAFCU had sent to the NCUA Board members praising the proposal. NAFCU wrote that many of their members had contacted the trade group hailing the idea of extending the examination schedule from 12- to 18-months. Dollar recently announced that all credit unions may have to file quarterly call reports to have the 18-month exam cycle, rather than just the larger ones (CUs over $50 million in assets). Currently, smaller credit unions only file every six months, but he said the call reports take less time and resources than the on-site examinations. Additionally, in their letter, NAFCU raised issues with the e-commerce examination program questionnaire, known as EC-II. “In particular, the EC-II is quite lengthy and requires an extensive amount of time to complete,” NAFCU’s letter read. “Furthermore, the EC-II contains many questions that simply do not apply to many credit unions’ circumstances.” NAFCU suggested altering the EC-II by creating a different approach for a credit union with a complex in-house e-commerce system from those credit unions that rely on third-party services. “While NAFCU realizes that the agency cannot create an examination program that will be tailored to each credit union’s unique circumstances, some changes might be possible that will improve the process and minimize the time involved for both examiners and credit unions,” NAFCU wrote. Dollar replied, “I am certainly agreeable to exploring any reasonable means and methods which would result in a less burdensome examination process, so long as safety and soundness are not compromised.” He added that NCUA would appreciate any recommendations from the credit union community on how the process could be improved. NAFCU Director of Regulatory Affairs Gwen Baker said that NAFCU had not come up with specific improvements, but commented that the organization would look to its membership for recommendations to streamline the exam. “Mr. Dollar has definitely voiced his desire to be more open and NAFCU and credit unions are very appreciative of that,” Baker said of the increased communications with the fairly recently appointed acting chairman. The e-commerce questionnaire was rolled out around the last quarter of 2000. Approximately 1,300 credit unions receive the EC-II as part of their e-commerce examination, according to Special Assistant to the Chairman for Public Affairs Nicholas N. Owens. [email protected]

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