NAFCU 'Concerned,' Not 'Opposed' To Data Collection Plan

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In discussing industry reaction to the NCUA's data collection pilot program in his Feb. 27 "Washington Watch" column, Ed Roberts may have left the impression that NAFCU is opposed to any efforts to measure credit union service. That is not the case.

We have expressed concerns about whether the NCUA pilot program will provide a complete picture of a credit union's service to its members. These are legitimate concerns that have been conveyed to us by our members and that we felt needed to be voiced in the interest of perfecting the manner in which credit union service is measured. But at no time did we say that we are opposed to the idea of demonstrating to our regulator or members of Congress the good work our nation's credit unions do each day to serve their members.

What NAFCU has said is that the data collection issue is complex because credit unions are all very different, with widely diverse asset sizes, fields of membership and charter types. Attempting to apply a uniform data collection method to a random sample of credit unions, all with different geographic and economic circumstances, and then attempting to come up with a single perspective on how credit unions are serving "people of modest means" will not be easy.

The NCUA's pilot program will be, we hope, the first step in a process that leads to greater appreciation of what credit unions do for their members. In the end, the agency may decide that each credit union will need to do an individual assessment, based on standards pegged to the demographics of its own unique membership. Attempts to arrive at a single, industry-wide answer to data collection may simply not be possible.

We will continue to work with the NCUA as it responds to issues brought up in the November Ways and Means Committee hearing and the GAO study, and we look forward to continuing our dialogue with Chairman Johnson, the other NCUA Board members and the NCUA staff.

Fred R. Becker Jr., President & CEO

National Association of Federal

Credit Unions (NAFCU)

Arlington, VA

Letters To The Editor

The Credit Union Journal welcomes Letters to the Editor. E-Mail Fdiekmann cujournal.com, or write P.O. Box 4387, West Palm Beach, FL 33462

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