NEW ORLEANS-NCUA Board Member Deborah Matz addressed the NASCUS annual meeting last week, reiterating her support for the dual-chartering system, but she also raised concerns about the current environment. Matz encouraged the state regulators “not to yield to the temptation to reduce their examination staffs or the number of examinations of state chartered credit unions” in the face of tightening state budgets. While credit unions help finance their regulators, it is not uncommon during budget crunches to appropriate these funds for other state agencies, she noted. She urged them to “do what you can within your state bureaucracy to keep every penny that credit unions contribute for regulatory oversight and to work closely with NCUA. More than ever, at this point in time, when state treasuries are low, we should work should call upon NCUA examiners to help out. NCUA is ready, willing and able to do so.” Hinting at the recent Patelco Credit Union vote to convert to private insurance, Matz commented, “I am not sure depositors fully understand the distinction between private insurance and having the backing of the full faith and credit of the U.S. government.” She acknowledged credit union members’ ability to switch if they so choose, but also expressed concerns about “the ability of private insurers to cover losses if they turn out to be extraordinarily large.” Additionally, Matz warned, “Most people don’t distinguish between federal and state charters or between federal and private insurance. So if there is a large failure all credit unions will be painted with the same brush and the entire credit union community will be hurt.”

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