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FCU Drops Appeal Of Protest Against Examiner
WASHINGTON (3/28/13)--The Credit Union National Association and the Ohio Credit Union League will work with Commodore Perry FCU to seek improvements in the examinations appeals process, they said Wednesday after it was announced that Commodore Perry had withdrawn its appeal of an exam decision by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA).

The Oak Harbor, Ohio-based credit union had challenged an NCUA examination from 2011 that had resulted in the lowest CAMEL rating it had ever received. The$32 million asset credit union maintained that the rating was retribution for its reporting an examiner's conduct and that the final examination contained a number of factually incorrect findings (News Now Jan. 23).

The withdrawal letter from Commodore Perry CEO Thomas Renz arrived at NCUA on Tuesday.

"CUNA's Examination and Supervision Subcommittee plans to work with Renz to focus on key supervisory concerns and problem areas and to seek improvements in the appeals process," said Mary Dunn, CUNA deputy general counsel. "This review will supplement the work CUNA is undertaking to pursue examination issues identified by credit unions in CUNA's recent Examination Survey," she told News Now.

NCUA confirmed that it had received Renz'  letter and said it "will review it carefully and provide a response."

"Commodore Perry requested and received a 60-day extension to file an appeal to the NCUA Board about the Supervisory Review Committee's decision," said John Fairbanks, NCUA public affairs specialist, in an e-mail to News Now. "The deadline for filing the appeal passed on March 18.  NCUA received a letter on March 26 indicating that the credit union would not file an appeal."

He noted, "NCUA has taken steps to provide greater details to credit unions about how to file appeals, and the agency is committed to continuing to improve the examination process."

Ohio league President/CEO Paul Mercer said that the credit union's decision to drop the appeal is positive because the credit union needs to move forward and focus on serving members. Commodore Perry's willingness to share its examination experience helped the advocacy effort by revealing how the examination and appeals process works in the real world, Mercer said.

The league's position on exam reform has been the same since the first exam legislation was introduced and backed by CUNA, said Patrick Harris, director of media and public relations at the league.  "We are standing behind CUNA in getting exam legislation to move forward," he told News Now.

The next step is "between the regulator and the credit union," Harris said. "The league has been supportive of Commodore Perry's pursuit for fairness, and we've been standing alongside the credit union like any good league would do for its credit unions." He noted that Commodore Perry has submitted the letter in hopes that it will terminate the appeals process.

"We're following CUNA's lead in the exam legislations process like a good league would do and we look forward to working with CUNA and legislators to get something passed," he added.

The credit union was unavailable for comment by News Now's deadline.


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