The National Credit Union Administration has retooled its supervision of corporate credit unions for the second time in three years.

The agency on Tuesday created a separate office charged with overseeing the 42 corporates and U.S. Central Credit Union. H. Allen Carver, director of the agency's Southeast region, has been tapped to organize and direct the new Office of Corporate Credit Unions.

The action yanks this authority from the Office of Examination and Insurance and its director, D. Michael Riley.

Shift in Emphasis

Kari Hoyle, executive director of the agency, said the new office represents a new emphasis on corporates, not dissatisfaction with prior supervision.

"Clearly we knew for some time we needed to put more emphasis on this area," he said. "We recognized this was an area that was becoming increasingly sophisticated" and corporates warranted an office commensurate with their importance to the agency.

Corporates, with assets of $44.7 billion, act as liquidity facilities for credit unions.

Lax Supervision Cited

Mr. Carver, who is in his new position on "extended detail," wouldn't comment on his appointment.

This is the second time the NCUA has reorganized its supervision of corporates since a 1991 General Accounting Office report criticized the agency for lax supervision of the institutions.

At the time of the GAO report, corporate examinations were delegated to the NCUA's six regional offices. In 1992, the agency created a division within the Office of Examination and Insurance to oversee all the corporates.

The division has five staff members, and they will be detailed to the new office, Mr. Hoyle said. Total staffing has yet to be determined.

New Office Not Included

Mr. Hoyle said establishing a new office was not one of the recommendations made by a panel NCUA appointed in March to review the corporate system.

The panel briefed the board last week, and the agency plans to release its report soon, agency officials said.

The agency appointed the panel in wake of disclosures that U.S. Central Credit Union, which acts as a liquidity center for corporates, invested $255 million in a troubled Spanish bank.

Mr. Hoyle said Mr. Carver, who starts Aug. 8, will be charged with making recommendations to the board for actions based on the panel's study. Recommendations should come before the board in September and October.

Sparked Investigation

U.S. Central's investment also prompted House Banking Committee Chairman Henry B. Gonzalez to launch a wide-ranging probe of the industry.

In March, Rep. Gonzalez, D-Tex., said he may introduce legislation to tighten regulation of the corporates. The committee's investigation is expected to lead to a series of hearings.

Mr. Carver, a 28-year NCUA veteran, has a reputation for being a tough regulator.

As director for the southeastern region, and during an earlier stint as midwestern director, he oversaw credit union conversions to federal insurance from private insurance in several states.

On Puerto Rico Task Force

Mr. Carver also was on a task force appointed in April by NCUA Chairman Norman E. D'Amours that was negotiating the conversion of commonwealth-insured Puerto Rican credit unions to federal insurance.

Timothy McCollum, who will take Mr. Carver's place on the task force, has been appointed acting director of NCUA's southeastern region.

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