ALEXANDRIA, Va.-In line with Acting NCUA Chairman Dennis Dollar’s more cost efficient version of the agency, the NCUA Board voted unanimously to approve a resource conserving flexible examination program in conjunction with a quarterly call report process. According to the agency and the credit union trade groups, the savings to credit unions and the agency should be substantial. The examination schedule, which would extend from 12 to 18 months for well-managed credit unions, was an internal consideration and therefore a final measure requiring no comment. However, the other half of the scenario is a proposal for quarterly call reports from all credit unions, rather than just those over $50 million in assets, which the public may comment on. NAFCU Communications Manager John Zimmerman said even though they had not run any numbers as to the exact savings, he pointed out that it should be substantial given that NCUA found in an informal survey of 58 random federal credit unions that it takes a maximum of six hours to complete a call report, whereas on-site examinations can take weeks. According to CUNA Associate General Counsel Mary Dunn, that six hours may shrink further. NCUA and CUNA are working jointly to produce a 5300EZ form for the call reports. Both groups have said they have not heard that the quarterly call reports would be an undue burden on smaller credit unions. Dunn said CUNA is inclined to support it, while NAFCU’s Director of Regulatory Affairs Gwen Baker said they were waiting to hear from their members. Office of Examination and Insurance Director David Marquis noted that with credit unions as healthy as they are, there is little risk if the examination process is expanded. He explained for the record that federal credit union assets were growing 12% a year and 98% of federal credit unions are above the adequately capitalized category for prompt corrective action (PCA). The average net worth ratio for all federal credit unions was up to 11.4% last year, up from 6.1% in 1980, he said. He added that with the quarterly call reports, NCUA could forego 1,200 to 1,600 full examinations per year for 52,000 examiner hours saved. “The advantages to be gained by quarterly call reports far outweigh the disadvantages,” Marquis commented. Dollar also announced that he is entertaining a risk-based examination in the future. Dollar also admitted that at one time, he did not support the quarterly call reports because they did not come with the advantage of an expanded examination schedule. -scooke@cutimes.com