<p>ALEXANDRIA, Va.-NCUA Board Member Deborah Matz abstained from voting on the Community Action Plan (CAP) repeal, which passed by a vote of 2-0-1. She commented that the CAP was the most “vexing” issue she had dealt with during her short time on the board. She explained that to familiarize herself with the background on the issue she talked to agency staff, the credit union community, lawmakers, and even read the minutes of the board meetings that involved the CAP. “I quickly discovered that when this issue is discussed, passions run high and debate is always heated,” Matz said. Later in her remarks she said, “Supporting CAP has come to represent hostility to the credit union movement and its leaders. Opposing CAP is seen by some as insensitivity to poor people. Neither seems accurate. “In reality, CAP is little more than a statement of good intentions. CAP has been a symbolic and divisive issue for too long.” As expected, agency Chairman Dennis Dollar-the only board member left from when CAP was implemented and when it was repealed-voted in favor of repealing it with a final rule. Noting the numerous comment letters received on the subject, Dollar said, “[Credit unions] have spoken with example after example of how credit unions are reaching out to serve their entire fields of membership with a particular and successful emphasis on serving those of modest means.” This most recent action replaces the interim final rule passed in December by a 2-1 vote with two different board members. Former recess appointee Geoff Bacino was on hand to see the repeal, which he initiated, finalized. Board Member JoAnn Johnson seconded Dollar’s vote, commenting that the December repeal was “the right thing to do procedurally, and in substance.” She added that credit unions “can’t and don’t” participate in the same activities that brought on CRA for banks. The credit union trade associations showed their appreciation for the repeal following the board meeting, which they have worked for from the beginning. “We’re pleased that the CAP has been formally repealed,” CUNA President and CEO Dan Mica said. At the same time, he continued, “We strongly understand that credit unions need to prove we do serve a broad range of the community.” CUNA Associate General Counsel Mary Dunn chimed in that the group was “gratified” by Board Member Matz’s comments. NAFCU President and CEO Fred Becker echoed this sentiment. “We needed to have a final rule to put it to rest,” he said. “It’s right that credit unions have to step forward and show what they’re doing. I don’t think [CAP] will go away.” CUNA and NAFCU stated previously that they planned to file their joint amicus curiae brief in the National Community Reinvestment Coalition lawsuit over the CAP repeal shortly after the board approved the final rule. In a prepared statement NCRC President John Taylor called for more Congressional oversight of NCUA in light of the agency’s “anti-democratic and anti-consumer posture.” Although in his statement Taylor praised community development credit unions for doing “an outstanding job in serving low and moderate income borrowers,” he called the final repeal a “body blow” to fair lending which “diminishes the commitment of credit unions to adhere to the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.” “NCRC and our member organization and partner, the Woodstock Institute, have produced compelling studies indicating that credit unions are not serving low and moderate income borrowers as well as banks,” Taylor said. “The excuse that credit union membership is geographically confined or occupationally confined can no longer be relied upon as more and more credit unions take advantage of the community charter and expand the geographical reach of the operations. In many cases, credit unions are directly competing in the same geographical areas as banks,” he added. In addition to CAP, the NCUA Board was presented with the quarterly insurance fund report. Given the current conditions, the NCUSIF might be able to grant a small dividend next year given the projected 1.31% equity ratio, though certainly not for last year ending with a 1.25% equity ratio. The gross income of the fund for the month of March topped out at $19 million, up from $16.9 million in February. NCUA Chief Financial Officer Dennis Winans explained that much of that difference could be accounted for with the different number of days in February (28) and March (31). The projected net income for the year is $145.6 million, down from last year’s, $164.1 million Operating expenses were also up slightly in March due to merit and salary adjustments at the beginning of the year. Last month, operating expenses totaled $7.5 million as opposed to $6.1 million for the prior two months. Additionally, four credit unions were involuntarily liquidated totaling $473,000 in assets with no losses to the fund. NCUA also approved a community charter expansion for Flint Community Federal Credit Union in Michigan. The $59 million, well-capitalized credit union has a penetration rate of 41% currently and will serve approximately 176,000 underserved members. The charter change will remove two exclusionary clauses from the credit union’s charter. The new charter will allow Flint to serve the entirety of Genesee County, Michigan with a population of more than 436,000, according to 2000 census data. Missouri Corporate Credit Union was approved for federal share insurance coverage. With this coverage the corporate intends to expand its membership base beyond the state of Missouri, where it serves 95% of eligible credit unions. Missouri Corporate already has a national field of membership but has primarily served Missouri. The board’s decisions on the final two items were unanimous. [email protected]</p>

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