Community Banks Suggest Staffing CrisisAt NCUA

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WASHINGTON - (12/19/05) Two community bank groups sent a letterto Congress on Friday that claims a personnel shortage at NCUA maybe the first step in a financial crisis among America’scredit un ions. America's Community Bankers and IndependentCommunity Bankers of America said in the letter to House FinancialServices Committee Chairman Michael Oxley (R-OH) that there arestaffing problems at the agency, basing their position on commentsmade by former NCUA Board Member Debbie Matz in her last boardmeeting. “The examination deficiency has occurred during thesame time that the credit union industry has greatly expanded itslending products, particularly into more complex business lendingproducts,” the letter states. Matz had said in September thatNCUA had 35 staff vacancies and that its examination program wasbehind by 7,500 hours. The two bank groups have called on Oxley torequest that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) study thestaffing levels at NCUA. That request came the same week that TexasRep. Jeb Hensarling also asked GAO to study whether NCUA isobstructing credit unions from converting to mutual savingsbanks.

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