What does the future hold for NASCUS? Our focus? Our priorities and the direction of the Association? These are timely questions as we gather in Vail, Colorado for the NASCUS 38th Annual Conference and Symposium. Before we look at the future, let’s reflect on the beginning. In 1965, a select group of state regulators founded the National Association of State Credit Union Supervisors (NASCUS) as a means for state supervisors to exchange information in an effort to provide superior supervision of their state-chartered credit unions. They envisioned an association that would influence the state credit union system long into the future. While the state regulators recognized the benefit of maintaining a professional association that facilitated their exchange of best practices and gave voice to their concerns in Washington, they also recognized that input from credit unions themselves on the real effects of regulation was an untapped resource. Creating a vehicle for state credit union participation in the regulator’s association made sense and continues to be the right decision. The unique interaction between state supervisors and state credit union leaders has been a strong and positive force in generating the rapid growth of the state credit union sector over the past decade or so. While NASCUS remains a regulator’s association, its commitment to the overall health and viability of the state credit union system and the dual chartering system has benefited state regulatory agencies, state-chartered credit unions, and federal credit unions (NCUA’s anticipated MBL rule is a perfect example). While it is true that regulator and regulated may have differing views, they share the same end-goal – a healthy, responsive, safe and sound credit union system. State regulators realize that their responsibility is rooted in more than just a “policing function.” True, their primary duty is examination and guardian of the public trust in their states. However, they also must give effect to the public policy decisions of their Governors and state legislatures. State regulators and NASCUS understand that states that choose to charter and incorporate credit unions expect those institutions to remain viable. That viability rests on both strong examination programs and on empowerment. Regulatory agencies must provide their institutions the tools they need to adopt and compete in the market place. It is this basic understanding, often overlooked when NASCUS’ unique organizational structure is discussed, that is the source of NASCUS’ strength, and will continue to help guide us in the future. NASCUS priorities for the future include: Capital Reform: We will continue to focus on capital reform. Several years ago, NASCUS’ leadership determined that today’s credit unions need alternative ways to generate capital and appointed a Task Force of state regulators, state-chartered credit union CEOs and industry advisors to serve as a catalyst to bring the issue to the attention of more credit union regulator and CEO opinion makers. NASCUS cautioned the credit union system that HR 1151′s narrow definition of capital would create difficulties for growing credit unions. On the state side, several regulators already allow alternative forms of capital. These progressive state approaches could serve as a starting point for developing capital relief for credit unions. Over the months there has been increased attention, and the reaction has been positive. There have been tangible actions by the Filene Institute, CUNA Mutual, CUNA, NAFCU, NCUA and Congress with regard to capital reform. Reforming the Administration of the NCUSIF: NASCUS leadership believes that the NCUA overhead transfer process was a symptom of a more basic problem – the potentially contradictory functions of the NCUA as charterer and regulator of federal credit unions and as administrator of the share insurance fund. Another priority will continue to be working with NCUA to improve the administration of NCUA’s dual missions and to ensure their dual missions are appropriately recognized, administratively separated, and objectively funded. This can be done in several ways: 1) State System Representation: Over the years, NASCUS has endorsed various proposals that would require one of the three NCUA Board members to have state credit union regulatory experience. State system representation on the NCUA Board is not a new concept. In fact, the FDIC Board of Directors is required to include one member with state banking regulatory experience. We believe that state system representation on the NCUA Board would help ensure that the interests of all contributors to NCUSIF are fully and fairly represented. 2) NCUA Functional Reorganization: State system representation is not the only way to address state regulator and state credit union concerns regarding the NCUA’s dual missions. NASCUS is working on a reorganization proposal that will address the contradictory functions of the agency as regulator and administrator of the insurance fund without separating the agency or the insurance fund. Preservation of State Authority: An ongoing NASCUS priority is the defeat of efforts to preempt the rightful authority of state legislatures to empower, and state regulators to supervise their state-chartered credit unions. There is tremendous diversity in our 47 states with state-chartered credit unions, and between the states and the federal charter. This diversity is a source of strength and is guarded jealously. Without it, credit unions today may never have become involved in mortgage lending, issuance of share drafts, or issuance of credit cards. Credit unions might not be awaiting a progressive NCUA MBL rule. State-chartered credit unions might not be able to mix communities and association groups as they can in some states. State regulators in 17 states might not have the authority to approve alternate insurance providers; a choice eight states have exercised. Quarterly call reports, offsite examination procedures, expedited field of membership expansions, non-member deposits, acceptance of government deposits and foreign branching are further examples of innovations undertaken by one regulator agency and then spread to others. Examiner Education and Accreditation: NASCUS regulator members and all state-chartered credit unions benefit from the best supervision procedures and techniques. Education of state examiners and accreditation of state supervisory agencies are just two of the ways that NASCUS improves the state credit union system for regulators and credit unions alike. NASCUS will remain committed to facilitating the continuing education of state credit union examiners. We will continue our efforts to increase the number of accredited state agencies, which presently number 27. Our priorities are reflected in the NASCUS mission – to enhance state credit union supervision and advocate a safe and sound state credit union system. Accordingly, we will continue to be at the forefront of the key issues facing state regulators and the institutions they supervise as we work to preserve the state regulatory perspective on these key issues. A fully functioning state credit union system benefits the entire credit union community – or common unity – and is essential to maintaining the dual chartering system. NASCUS has been making quite an impression in the credit union movement in recent years. Our unique structure of bringing together the regulators and the regulated to preserve and strengthen the state credit union regulatory system has always been the association’s greatest strength. Over the years, a number of individuals have worked tirelessly to build NASCUS’ strong representation of state regulatory agencies, state-chartered credit unions, and a robust dual chartering system. These efforts have been expanded by NASCUS’ leadership and management and will continue in the coming months. Indeed, NASCUS has matured to become the successful association it is today, and I envision even greater maturity and successes in the years ahead.