NCUA's By-The-Book Response

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ALEXANDRIA, Va.-When asked for insights into its policies, procedures, and programs regarding small CUs, NCUA responded to Credit Union Journal by the book.

NCUA Spokesperson Cherie Umbel returned a three-page response referring largely to information already published by the CU regulator. Umbel did not directly address questions regarding reports that many small credit unions feel they will not survive under the current compliance and assessment pressures, and that some examiners are not paying attention to the special characteristics of small credit unions, conducting unduly harsh exams.

Instead, Umbel's message largely outlined the direction and efforts of the Office of Small Credit Union, and detailed communications shared in Letters to Credit Unions Nos. 10-CU-01, 09-CU-23, and 10-CU-17.

In her message Umbel stated: "NCUA believes small credit unions play a vitally important role in the future of the industry, and remains committed to helping them survive and thrive. Small credit unions can absolutely continue to be viable, and often provide valuable niche services to their members who may otherwise be under-served . . . With respect to regulatory compliance, however, NCUA does not have much discretion as many compliance regulations are mandated by Federal statute. We encourage examiners to work with small credit unions on compliance issues and to be flexible whenever we can."

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