ALEXANDRIA, Va. (5/23/08)—The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Board yesterday adopted a plan by a vote of 2-1 to adopt a recommendation regarding the collection of membership data in part to assess federal credit union membership profiles. The Board did not discuss the senior executive compensation issues. Rodney Hood, NCUA vice chairman, reflected concerns the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) has raised about the data collection. Hood thanked the task force for their work, but noted that he couldn’t support the initiative because it “teetered on the brink” of and shared similarities with the Community Reinvestment Act. “Credit unions do not divert resources outside of members,” he said. He also noted concerns about the timing of the initiative, given a sluggish economy. The NCUA plan is based on the recommendations of the Outreach Task Force (OTF), chaired by Board Member Gigi Hyland. The OTF recommended that NCUA:
* Collect federal credit union membership profile data through the AIRES download; * Collect data on financial services offered at federal credit unions through the 5300 report; * Publish aggregate data on membership profiles and financial services; and * Develop a mechanism for each federal credit union to obtain its proprietary membership profile data.
Beginning in January 2009, NCUA will begin analyzing federal credit union membership profiles using AIRES download, after a credit union's examination has been completed. The agency said it would take up to 24 months to complete this process for all federal credit unions. The agency will also modify the 5300 report to add a schedule of services that federal credit unions will complete. Comment will be solicited from federal credit unions on the 5300 changes. CUNA President/CEO Dan Mica questioned the need for the data collection program, saying, “CUNA is unconvinced that a data collection process is necessary.” However, he acknowledged the number of clarifications approved by NCUA Chairman JoAnn Johnson and Hyland in voting for the program. “It is clear that they were listening to us and acted on several of our concerns (such as assuring credit unions that examiners will not be able to use the data to create 'report cards' on individual credit unions, and delaying the start of the program until the beginning of next year,” Mica said in a statement. NCUA also clarified that the information will only be published in the aggregate. The Board indicated that the data could be used by NCUA as a trigger to obtain further information from an individual credit union if there are questions about qualifications or a low-income designation or an application for an underserved area. During the Member Service Assessment Pilot Program in 2006, NCUA identified 39 credit unions that could have had a low-income designation but which had never applied. “Many credit unions have expressed to us their own concerns about data collection, and it is our intention to recognize and honor their apprehensions,” Mica said. CUNA’s Examination and Supervision Subcommittee, along with CUNA staff, will take a key role in monitoring the development of the program, Mica added. The NCUA published a Q&A on the data collection plan, based on Hyland’s exchange with NCUA staff during the board meeting. To see her comments, use the link.