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Matz Congratulates Minn CUs On Turning Economic Corner
ST. PAUL, Minn. (3/11/13)--
Click to view larger image National Credit Union Administration Chairman Debbie Matz offered candid insights to more than 50 credit union representatives during a roundtable discussion Friday at the Minnesota Credit Union Network office in St. Paul. (Photo provided by the Minnesota Credit Union Network)
ational Credit Union Administration Chairman Debbie Matz congratulated credit unions on turning an economic corner during an open forum meeting Friday with more than 50 credit unions representatives from Minnesota at the Minnesota Credit Union Network's offices in St. Paul.

The current credit union environment and recent successes across the industry are reflected in NCUA's year-end 2012 data, Matz said in her opening remarks.

The data indicated that 2012 was the best year for credit unions since the Great Recession began in 2007, with $8.5 billion in earnings, up 36.1% from 2011 (News Now March 4). Loan originations and new auto loans increasing dramatically, and credit union loan-loss provisions declined 14 basis points (News Now March 5).

These positive trends are mirrored and, in many cases, eclipsed in Minnesota, Matz told the group.

"It's been a difficult couple of years, but credit unions have really turned the corner," she said, noting substantial improvement in all critical areas of credit union measurement. "Thank you for doing such a good job and for working so hard."

The chairman expressed concern about the widening disparity between large credit unions with more than $250 million in assets and small credit unions with less than $10 million.  She discussed the struggles that smaller institutions face and the need to find ways to keep small credit unions alive and thriving, and pointed out the availability of training resources through NCUA's Office of Small Credit Union Initiatives.

Matz also spoke about changes in staffing at the agency and a reinvigoration of the agency's work force. As credit unions become more complex, NCUA is cognizant of the need to "keep up with the times" and stay ahead of the curve, hiring specific expertise in areas such as technology and commercial lending, she said.

Attendees told her about their regulatory concerns and commented on the credit union exam process, said MnCUN.  They also addressed specific concerns about NCUA letters to credit unions, interest-rate risk, member business loan waivers, and the low-income designation.

"We appreciate the NCUA's willingness to have an open discussion with credit unions in our state," said MnCUN President/CEO Mark Cummins, "and especially for the chairman's strong emphasis on open communication, her common sense approach and her commitment to strengthening the industry."


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