Federation Presses Case For Respecting Uniqueness

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NEW YORK – Cliff Rosenthal is hopeful that 2011 will be a year in which NCUA examiners gain a better understanding of the unique operating characteristics of low-income and community development credit unions.

The president of the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions told CU Journal that while NCUA has made progress in having examiners understand the special operating characteristics of low-income credit unions (LICUs) and community development credit unions (CDCUs), there remains a great deal of room for improvement. The Federation, Rosenthal explained, has been “monitoring where the rubber hits the road” in terms of examiners paying attention to the uniqueness of LICUs and CDCUs, and following NCUA’s direction on reviewing these institutions.

Rosenthal referred specifically to the supervisory letter NCUA issued in January 2010 indicating that field staff should consider the special challenges small credit unions face. While pleased with the letter, the Federation is concerned that many examiners are not getting the message, and that NCUA will be hiring a large number of new examiners.

Earlier this month Rosenthal sent a letter to NCUA sharing concerns that the examination process on LICUs and CDCUs has been inconsistent and unduly harsh due to examiners’ lack of knowledge of these institutions. “We surveyed our members and we think there has been progress in getting examiners to understand the uniqueness of our credit unions,” Rosenthal said. “Many have clearly read the letter and gotten training. But there are also numbers who have not seen the letter or really paid much heed to it.”


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