Credit unions deserve more respectful authority from examiners than “because I said so.”

That’s the message CUNA is communicating to the NCUA as the trade attempts to convince the regulator to implement changes mandated in HR 3461, the Financial Institutions Examination Fairness and Reform Act, said Mary Dunn, CUNA’s senior vice president for regulatory advocacy and deputy general counsel.

Dunn told the story of a member credit union that wishes to remain anonymous for fear of examiner retaliation. During its exam, the CEO asked the NCUA examiner why he was requiring a specific solution to an exam exception.

““He said, ‘because I told you to’,” Dunn said. “In our view, credit unions deserve a professional response from an examiner who will also relate it back to a particular regulation.”

NAFCU President Fred Becker said his members also complain about the exam process, and he’s seeking more accountability from examiners. Rather than hold examiners accountable, the NCUA is instead avoiding risk, Becker said.

 Referring to a December 2011 NCUA Board vote to put new concentration limits on participation loans out for comment, Becker said the agency set an “arbitrary number” that is “designed to simply make the agency’s job easier by removing all risk.”

“Risk exists in the financial services industry, and we need a certain amount of it. Rather than hold the examiner accountable, they just eliminated the risk,” he said.