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NCUA Region 1 examiners meet with Wis. CUs, state office
MADISON, Wis. (2/12/14)--More than 40 representatives from Wisconsin credit unions and four officials from the state Office of Credit Unions (OCU) met with their new regional director from the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA).
 
Effective Jan. 1, Wisconsin credit unions fall under Region I, which is led by Director Larry Blankenberger, for federal supervision. Blankenberger and 19 NCUA examiners listened to insights and concerns from the credit unions at Credit Union House in Madison (The League News Feb. 10).
 
Blankenberger cited interest rate risk as a top concern of examiners this year. He stressed the importance of having up-to-date policies and ensuring board members are aware of the how and why of risk-management decisions.
 
Credit union attendees urged NCUA to coordinate with OCU to minimize duplicative reporting and paperwork.
 
They also shared their vision of Wisconsin's current operating environment:
  • Wisconsin credit unions collaborate well with one another and have had a strong and proactive relationship with state examiners.
  • Wisconsin credit unions are less affected by major economic swings than other regions of the U.S. because Midwesterners generally don't take on as much risk and are financially conservative.
  • Operating expenses are higher in some areas of the state because of operating costs and/or a large percentage of the membership is low income.
     
  • Despite some economic improvement, many members are earning less and are generally taking on less debt.
  • The deluge of regulation has been onerous for credit unions.
 Other key points raised by the group:
  • NCUA aims to coordinate with the OCU for exam visits to credit unions.
     
  • Some Wisconsin credit unions will have the same examiners. For up to three years, NCUA staff from the state's previous Region IV will assist with Wisconsin credit union exams. Staff from Region II (District of Columbia, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia) also will support exams for the next two years.
     
  • There is an expectation of professionalism for both NCUA staff and credit union staff involved in the examination process. Credit unions should contact the NCUA or OCU if there are conduct issues to be addressed.
     
  • NCUA examiners follow procedures outlined by the National Supervision Policy Manual to assure a consistent approach by all examiners.
     
  • Policy requirements sometimes dictate the actions NCUA must take despite every interest in flexibility.


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