CUs Want More Clarity To NCUA MemberService Initiative

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ALEXANDRIA, Va. - (03/06/06) -- In the briefest of public commentperiods, credit union representatives told NCUA last week theysupport efforts to illustrate their member services to Congress butquestioned the methodology of the pilot data collection program.The handful of credit unions submitting comments in what amountedto a three-day comment period all agreed that cooperation isimportant but will take much longer than the one hour NCUA hasprojected. Most commenters wondered how NCUA will define the term'modest means' as it seeks to measure credit unions's service tomembers of modest means. Others said the data on income ofborrowers is not readily available and will require some work toproduce. Other credit unions suggested that NCUA try to expand thereach of the data in order to give Congress and other potentialaudiences of the data a greater picture of how different chartertypes may comply with service to the underserved. John Tippetts,president of American Airlines FCU, suggested that NCUA broaden itsdata collection from the 481 targeted credit unions to include allcredit unions authorized to serve underserved areas. Navy FCU'sPresident Cutler Dawson said he is worried that the method ofmatching a members's address with census tract data will notaccurately reflect whether a credit union is serving people ofmodest means. Western FCU Vice President Gregg Badovinac said hiscredit union fully supports the pilot program but insisted theone-hour estimate for the data collection is far too short and willbe closer to eight hours of staff time.

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