Where’s Patrick: This week I am all over the place working on your behalf – East Alabama, Atlanta, Melbourne, Birmingham, Shoals, Montgomery. To see my tentative schedule for the next two weeks, visit the LSCU Information for Credit Unions’ webpage.
On July 19, the League facilitated a meeting in Atlanta between small asset sized credit unions and the NCUA Region III Director Myra Toeppe and her senior staff. The Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta was kind enough to host our group for dinner the night before, as well as lunch the next day. The meeting with NCUA is a continuation of the League’s efforts to get credit unions in front of their regulators more often to discuss issues and concerns directly.
The meeting was extremely successful, as 10 credit union CEOs and managers joined us for the meeting. We kicked off the morning discussing issues related to examinations, something always at the top of credit union’s minds. Myra’s biggest message to credit unions during this discussion is how important it is for credit unions to let the NCUA, specifically her as Region III Director, know when issues arise. As she told credit unions at the meeting, if she does not hear about an issue, she cannot know about it.
Many of the issues discussed related to the way the NCUA conducts exams, and those in the room tried to express their concern about a one-size fits all approach to examinations. While the NCUA does take into account asset sizes, the credit unions in the room tried to express that there are still significant differences between credit unions beyond just asset size. Another concern voiced by many in the room was that surrounding Documents of Resolution (DORs).
The NCUA’s message to credit unions was do not agree to a DOR that you do not agree with. Credit unions should feel free to voice their concerns in the exit conference, and if the institution still feels its concerns are not being addressed, the credit union should bring them to the Supervisory Examiner. If at that point, the credit union still believes there is an issue, Myra said they should bring their issues to her. The credit unions in the room definitely appreciated hearing these comments and hopefully feel like they can bring these types of concerns to the appropriate people.
While issues concerning examinations were a popular topic, it was not the only topic discussed at the meeting. The NCUA senior staff made several presentations to the group on what examiners would be looking for in the future concerning Cybersecurity, consumer protection issues and BSA/Internal controls and fraud. This was a great opportunity for credit unions to get a head start on preparing for these types of items and we are passing these presentations along so you, too, can see what to expect. Additionally, Robert Parrish, Region III Director of Supervision, has made himself available to any credit union who has questions on these topics or others.
One issue that was not discussed during the meeting, but arose shortly after we left Atlanta, concerns the impending closure of the Atlanta office. As was announced on July 21, the NCUA will be consolidating from five regional offices to three. While we do not currently know what region credit unions in Alabama and Florida will ultimately fall, the League is continuing to monitor the situation and keep in contact with the NCUA for any information that becomes available.