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NASCUS describes itself as being “the primary resource and voice of the 48 state government and territorial agencies that charter, regulate and examine the nation’s state-chartered credit unions.” The association is currently led by President/CEO Mary Martha Fortney, who assumed the position in January 2004. NASCUS Chair is Roger Little, deputy commissioner, Credit Union Division, Division of Financial Institutions of the Office of Financial and Insurance Services, Michigan. NASCUS Council Chair is C. Michael Litzau, president/CEO, Colorado Central Credit Union, Arvada, Colo. Fortney says NASCUS is “the sole voice dedicated to the state-chartered credit union system. It is the professional association dedicated to the autonomy and authority of state regulators who supervise state-chartered credit unions. NASCUS is dedicated to enhancing state credit union supervision while advocating a safe and sound state credit union system.” In this role, the association provides information and expertise about state law and the possible repercussions of changes in federal legislation and governmental agency rules and regulations on state-chartered credit unions and the dual chartering system. Since being named to the president’s spot at NASCUS, Fortney has successfully worked to increase the association’s visibility on Capitol Hill. During the past year, Congress debated several issues relevant to state regulators and state-chartered CUs such as tax-exemption; preemption of state laws; regulatory relief legislation for state-chartered credit unions; and the right for SCCUs to obtain state-authorized private insurance. “Increased federal preemption of the authority of state credit union supervision has renewed NASCUS’ efforts to stem this preemption,” says Fortney. “What we believe in is choice – dual chartering – and we are committed to supporting dual chartering by word and deed. Choice strengthens the credit union movement by providing progressive tension between the two chartering options. It promotes innovation, and that always benefits credit unions and thus, their members.” Looking ahead, Fortney says she sees NASCUS “as a leading advocate for a strong and innovative state credit union system that benefits state credit union regulatory agencies and state credit unions.” She also expects to see NASCUS working effectively within the credit union community and its many components” such as CUNA, the leagues, corporate credit unions, and the World Council of Credit Unions. Among NASCUS’ priorities for the future are allowing risk-based capital to count for Prompt Corrective Action purposes – NASCUS has already testified twice before congressional committees about alternative capital reform and other issues, and Fortney is confident the credit union industry is moving closer to allowing this. Other items on NASCUS’ radar screen are taxation challenges, reforming the administration of NCUA and working with the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) and other groups on containing the threat of federal preemption of state anti-predatory lending laws. -

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