The day after their third member was confirmed by the Senate, the NCUA Board wasout talking to industry groups on diverse topics.

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Speaking Friday before theAfrican-American Credit Union Coalition's annual conference inDetroit, NCUA Board Chair Debbie Matz said minority credit unions areessential to fostering economic diversity and opportunity incommunities across America, particularly low-income and underservedcommunities.

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Matz also reiterated the NCUA's commitment to supporting greaterdiversity in its own workforce and in credit unions throughout thenation.

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“Minority credit unions perform an extremely importantfunction,” Matz said. “They are often the only insured institutionsserving low-income and underserved areas. Your being there—makingloans to small businesses so they can provide jobs and offeringloans so your members can buy a car or a home or send a child tocollege—has helped hard-working families in those communities pavea path towards financial security.”

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Matz also reported on NCUA's efforts to promote diversity,including:

“It's very important to preserve, to the extent we can, both thespecial character and the number of minority credit unions servingtheir communities, especially in underserved communities,” Matz noted. “The policy proposed at our July Board meeting willalign NCUA with federal law and the programs of other federalregulators to preserve minority depository institutions.”

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She said the NCUA Board also has issued for public comment aproposed Interpretive Ruling and Policy Statement providing thebasis for creating a Minority Depository Institution PreservationProgram. The program's objectives would include:

  • Preserving current minority credit unions and encouraging newones;
  • Providing technical assistance, training and educationalprograms; and
  • Preserving the minority character of the credit unions in casesof merger or acquisition.

Matz concluded by noting that 92% of minority credit unions areeither small credit unions, with assets below $50 million, or havea low-income credit union designation. They are therefore eligibleto assistance from the agency's Office of Small Credit Union Initiatives,including free consulting services and access to grants andlow-interest loans from the Community Development Revolving LoanFund.

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Meanwhile, in Boston NCUA Board Member Michael Fryzel provided an update Fridayabout the agency's priorities and the current environment for morethan 200 credit union league presidents, chairmen and governmentaffairs professionals,

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During his remarks before the American Association of CreditUnion Leagues' 2013 summer meeting, the agency said, Fryzel spokeabout:

  • Corporate credit unions and the restructuring of the NCUA'sOffice of Corporate Credit Unions to the Office of NationalExaminations and Supervision.
  • Natural person credit unions, the overall economy and thechallenges that lie ahead.
  • Pending and proposed rules, NCUA staff changes and the NCUAregional realignment.
  • Pending federal legislation that could affect creditunions.
  • The future of credit unions.

Fryzel highlighted the importantrole credit union leagues play in the credit union industry andurged the leagues to keep working hard to meet the needs of theirmember credit unions.

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“Credit union leagues continue to play a vital role in thecredit union industry,” he said. “I encourage you to continue tostrive to ensure that your member credit unions receive first-classinformation, education and training to, in turn, better serve theirmembers.”

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