The chief executive officer post of U.S. Central Credit Union, vacant since Jim Bell resigned in March, probably will remain unfilled for months, its chairman said.

"It is our desire to complete this process at the earliest possible date," U.S. Central chairman Don Finn wrote in an Aug. 31 letter. "We continue our efforts with regulators, however, it may take a couple more months to make the selection."

Based in Overland Park, Kan., U.S. Central acts as the industry's primary liquidity source. Four of its nine board seats are held by representatives of the Credit Union National Association, which has led to internal conflicts in the past.

Industry sources said the search has taken longer than expected because the National Credit Union Administration has rejected some candidates. The NCUA has that power under law because U.S. Central received a low performance rating in its most recent examination.

Robert Bream, chief executive of Chicago-based United Air Lines Employees Credit Union, was offered the job but turned it down because he was put off by the internal politics, industry and agency sources said.

Mr. Bell cited interference from CUNA as his reason for quitting.

Uncertainty over the future is another reason for the search's length, industry sources said. The NCUA is expected to issue new corporate regulations later this year, and some applicants and potential applicants are reluctant to take the job before knowing the new rules.

Mr. Finn, also chief operating officer of Mid-States Corporate Federal Credit Union, declined to comment on the letter.

Bob Loftus, director of public and congressional affairs for the National Credit Union Administration declined to comment on what the agency wanted in a future U.S. Central chief executive.

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