The National Credit Union Administration will resurrect a proposal requiring institutions with more than $50 million in assets to obtain an annual opinion audit from a licensed certified public accountant -- a plan overwhelmingly opposed by the industry when offered last year.

Testimony to the House Banking Committee last week by the General Accounting Office included a list of its recommendations and NCUA's responses.

In response to a GAO recommendation that the regulator require the audits, the document said: "The NCUA chairman proposes to require opinion audits by independent licensed certified public accountants for all federally insured credit unions greater than $50 million in assets and make it mandatory that a management letter accompany each audit report."

NCUA Chairman Norman E. D'Amours "thinks it's a good safety and soundness measure," said Bob Loftus, agency director of public and congressional affairs.

The agency hasn't set a time for issuing the proposal, Mr. Loftus said. "It's not on the front burner," he said.

According to NCUA figures, 96% of credit unions with more than $50 million in assets already obtain a CPA audit.

The regulator proposed the audit requirement in 1993, issued it for comment, but did not act on it, Mr. Loftus said.

The agency got 200 comment letters, of which 141 opposed the proposal. Most opponents said such a requirement would impose undue cost.

-- James B. Arndorfer

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.