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WASHINGTON – Marvin Umholtz, membership director of the Coalition for Credit Union Charter Options, the banker-advised group which speaks in favor of credit unions changing their charter to those of mutual banks, said that NCUA’s actions with regard to the $1.4 billion Community Credit Union and $1.2 billion OmniAmerican Credit Union signal the NCUA’s need for a “watchdog.” “[T]he ruling by Judge Bush is another building block in a strong case for a watchdog over NCUA,” Umholtz said in a September 1 statement. “Its actions are reminiscent of the unchecked power Fannie Mae enjoyed in the 1990s before the advocacy group FM Watch was formed and Fannie and Freddie reined in.” Umholtz added that CUNA’s actions indicated that it treated NCUA as a “partner” and therefore could not be relied upon as a watchdog for the agency. NCUA declined to validate the credit unions’ charter change votes on the grounds that the credit unions had not conducted their disclosures as they had told the agency they would. The credit unions sued and the Court sided with the institutions and subsequently the NCUA settled.

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