Bankers To Scapegoat NCUA For Failed CUConversion

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WASHINGTON - (05/10/06) -- Banking lobbyists continue to maketheir case on Capitol Hill that the unprecedented conversion tomutual savings bank by credit union giant DFCU Financial was foiledby the intransigence of NCUA. The lobbyists have been tellingmembers of the House Financial Services Committee on the eve ofThursday's hearings on credit union conversions that thecontroversy over the failed conversion of the $1.8 billion creditunion could have been avoided if not for NCUA's rules and effortsto restrict their communications with members, congressionalsources told The Credit Union Journal. But NCUA Chairman JoAnnJohnson is expected to tell Congress that there are no rulesprohibiting credit unions from explaining to members theramifications of converting before the board has voted or anypractices restricting communications to the public or news media."There's going to be a lot more light, than heat, at thishearings," John McKechnie, chief spokesman for NCUA, told TheCredit Union Journal. Thursday's hearing promises to be anexplosive one with NCUA and the Office of Thrift Supervision, whichhas criticized NCUA for its handling of conversions; as well asAmerican Bankers Association Chairman Harris Simmons, the chiefcredit union critic, scheduled to testify.

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