NCUA Deflects Talk Of CRA For CreditUnions

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WASHINGTON - (02/28/06) -- NCUA Chairman JoAnn Johnson deniedany suggestions her new member services survey gauging credit unionservice to the underserved communities is anything like theCommunity Reinvestment Act required of banks and insisted that NCUAhas no plans to suggest a CRA for credit unions. "I would like tomake something very clear," Johnson told more than 4,000 attendeesto CUNA's annual Government Affairs Conference. "This Agency is notabout to impose CRA on credit unions. I will repeat, NCUA, under myleadership, is not about to embark on a path that would lead you toCRA." Johnson was referring to criticism of her member servicesprogram that attempts to measure and monitor credit union'sservices to underserved members are similar in function to CRA,which attempts to gauge and monitor banks service to theunderserved communities where they operate. But Johnson insistedthat NCUA has to do something to satisfy increasing inquiries fromCongress to determine whether credit unions are serving individualsof modest means, as is generally interpreted as the chief creditunion mission. "The job that needs to be done is one that theregulator must do," she said. "As always, we welcome input andopinion from the industry, but at the end of the day, the regulatoris the one charged with responding to Congress."

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