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ARLINGTON, Va.-Eighty-two percent of NAFCU member credit unions are eligible for Regulatory Flexibility benefits, according to the organization’s most recent monthly Flash survey. Even so, only about 15% responded that they were currently taking advantage of the exemptions afforded to well-managed, well-capitalized credit unions under the program. Still three-quarters said that they thought the RegFlex program “is, or will be, beneficial to them,” NAFCU’s survey found. NCUA Chairman Dennis Dollar said that even though the vast majority is not yet using their RegFlex waivers, 75% said that they like having that option. He explained that he understood it was a business decision on each credit union’s part and that only 15% needed the waivers for the business purposes right now. Dollar said RegFlex was like any program from NCUA: “They’re not designed to be used by every credit union; they’re designed to be evaluated by every credit union.” Provisions of the program that were employed most, according to NAFCU’s Flash, were the quarterly stress testing of complex securities (38%), fixed asset investments (31%), and charitable contributions/ donations (31%). The fixed assets, ability to purchase credit card loans, member business loans, student loans or mortgage loans from any federally insured credit union were deemed most important, while the prohibition on purchase of zero coupon investments with a maturity of more than 10 years and charitable contributions/donations were considered less important. Dollar said that when NCUA created the RegFlex standard it was created to be used in future regulations as well. At the NCUA Board’s meeting last week, the agency adopted another regulation that includes RegFlex provisions regarding investments, including mortgage-backed securities (See related story page 3). “What you may see in the future is more regulations when we revise them in the future.that we will apply to RegFlex credit unions,” Dollar said. He emphasized that he does not advocate deregulation, but instead earned regulatory flexibility. According to NCUA data, as of year-end 2002, 3,650 federal credit unions were eligible for RegFlex, up from 3,582 June 30, 2002. Dollar explained that the program was designed as a reward for good performance and an incentive to improve performance. “So when the numbers go up, that’s a good sign,” he said. Prior to RegFlex any credit union could apply to receive a waiver from NCUA on certain regulations not required by law. [email protected]

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