In Letter, NCUA's Matz Says Agency Is 'Transparent'

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In a June 16 letter, NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz denied there has been any lack of transparency, writing, "In a series of communications since OCP was created in 2010, NCUA has featured articles addressing why the NCUA Board created OCP, its mission, and specific responsibilities being transferred to OCP.

"Approximately 30 days prior to the transfer of functions from the NCUA regional offices to OCP, regional directors sent letters to each federal credit union, each state supervisory authority and each state credit union association within its jurisdiction," Matz said. "These letters set forth the functions being transferred to OCP and the responsibilities of each division within OCP. In addition, the regional directors alerted federal credit unions to review forms (e.g. Adverse Action Notices) to ensure the correct address for consumer assistance would be disclosed to its members. In order to target these messages more effectively...NCUA communicated directly with every FCU. For consumers, NCUA's website (www.ncua.gov), prominently displays on the home page a consumer section appropriately titled, 'For Consumers.' This section highlights OCP's microsite (www.mycreditunion.gov)," Matz continued. "Mycreditunion.gov was launched in March of 2011 to provide a gamut of valuable financial information and consumer tips including OCP's member complaint process. The member complaint process is clearly articulated, addressing when and how to file a complaint and what to expect once a complaint is filed. I encourage you to visit mycreditunion.gov to learn more.

"In addition, my March 11 response letter to you thoroughly discusses NCUA's member complaint process. I would be happy to respond to specific questions NAFCU may have...

"NCUA is sensitive to reputation risks associated with credit union operations. For this reason, boards must ensure that their programs and services comply with all applicable consumer protection laws and...regulations. CUs should review and correct, if applicable, compliance issues brought to their attention by members, internal audits, or by external third-party vendors contracted to perform consumer compliance risk assessments.

"I expect OCP to be transparent not only to credit unions, but also to credit union members," Matz wrote in a concluding paragraph. "OCP recognizes the value of transparency between NCUA and credit unions, as well as between NCUA and CU members. To conceal a consumer protection law or consumer compliance regulation violation from a member, in cases where an issue is brought to NCUA's attention by a member, would certainly lack transparency and bring into question the agency's independence and integrity."

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