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NEW: Lee named NCUA's ombudsman

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ALEXANDRIA, Va. (2/11/13, Updated 11:12 a.m. ET)--National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Chairman Debbie Matz just announced that Joy Lee will assume the duties as ombudsman for the agency, effective today. Lee has been senior Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council advisor to the chairman.

Lee will succeed Moisette I. Sweat, who has been NCUA's Ombudsman since 2010.

"The ombudsman's role is to be the public's voice to NCUA leadership, and Joy will speak clearly and effectively," said Matz, announcing the change. "Joy has the skills and the knowledge of consumer protection issues and NCUA operations that will serve credit unions and the public well."

NCUA has elevated the position so the ombudsman will now be supervised by the executive director's office and report directly to the board. Until now, the ombudsman's duties were assigned to the Division of Consumer Compliance & Outreach,  and reported to the Director of the Office of Consumer Protection.

Bart Shapiro to leave CFPB

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WASHINGTON (2/11/13)--Bart Shapiro, who served as senior adviser for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's Office of Community Banks & Credit Unions, left the agency on Friday.

Shapiro joined the CFPB in August 2011. Before that, he served as director of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Office of Real Estate Settlement and Procedures Act & Interstate Land Sales.

The Credit Union National Association has discussed how the CFPB's mortgage changes could impact credit unions, remittance rule changes, and other issues during meetings with Shapiro.

The agency is in the process of filling the position.

Cooperation, communication were key in Sandy response: NCUA's Matz

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ALEXANDRIA, Va. (2/11/13)--Communication, collaboration and collective effort were key as credit unions prepared for and reacted to Superstorm Sandy, National Credit Union Administration Chairman Debbie Matz said last week.

"Credit unions often cite the philosophy of 'People Helping People,' and after Hurricane Sandy, the philosophy came to life," she said. "We can be proud of our collective efforts in the face of adversity."

Matz made her remarks at a Credit Union Association of New York (CUANY) event held last week on Long Island.

CUANY President/CEO William Mellin and CUANY Long Island Chapter President/Nassau Financial FCU COO Chris Penna were among the nearly 100 credit union leaders that attended the event.

Matz commended the credit union representatives for their efforts after the storm, outlined NCUA actions, and discussed the many lessons the agency learned, including the need:

  • For frequent communication with members before and after a disaster;
  • To prepare cash contingencies to ensure members have access to paper funds immediately before and after a disaster;
  • To test and re-test generators, data backup files, business continuity plans and other critical systems; and
  • To partner with credit unions, including those in other regions or states, to provide emergency facilities and alternate back-office sites.
John DeIeso, chief information officer for NEFCU, Westbury, N.Y., said it was a proud moment to witness the cooperation between credit unions that followed the storm.

Mellin noted that the New York Credit Union Foundation's statewide Disaster Relief Fund has provided nearly $150,000 in grants to impacted credit unions and credit union employees, volunteer leaders and members. CUANY has also held multiple meetings with NCUA staff to promote communication and collaboration. "NCUA has been incredibly supportive and accessible in the months since Hurricane Sandy. When we have this level of cooperation between our credit unions and our regulators, everyone benefits," he said.

However, Penna emphasized that the regional response to Sandy is not yet over. "Our members and our communities still need us," he said.

The Credit Union National Association offers comprehensive disaster preparedness materials. A CUNA disaster preparedness page also links to CUNA Strategic Services (CSS), which offers key products and services to assist credit unions in the event a disaster. CSS partner Agility Recovery provides disaster recovery services to credit unions across the country. Agility and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) have collaborated to develop a disaster preparedness website,

For more on CUNA's disaster preparedness resources, click the link.

NCUA to stop separate exams in NC

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WASHINGTON (2/11/13)--The National Credit Union Administration and the North Carolina Credit Union Division (NCCUD) have agreed to resume a joint examination schedule going forward. The NCUA discontinued its coordinated examinations with the NCCUD last year after the state regular allowed Raleigh, N.C.-based State Employees' CU to disclose its state-issued CAMEL score.

NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz said Friday that after meeting in-person with NCCUD Acting Administrator Rose Conner, NCUA and NCCUD have agreed to re-establish a joint examination program in 2013.

"Administrator Conner has given me her word that NCCUD's affirmative policy moving forward will not authorize any public release of confidential examination information, especially CAMEL ratings," said Matz. "With this new commitment and policy from the state regulator, we look forward to resuming joint examinations, training, and open communications with NCCUD."

NCCUD and NCUA will begin working out the details of their joint arrangement on Monday. Ordinarily, the NCUA routinely conducts joint safety and soundness examinations with state regulators.

The NCUA said the dual exams in North Carolina after the release of the CAMEL ratings information were necessary to protect the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund and the credit union system.

North Carolina Credit Union League President John Radebaugh welcomed the regulators' decidion and said, "The league welcomes today's announcement. The dual examinations of state-chartered credit unions represented an unwelcome and unnecessary burden in an already complex regulatory environment.

"We are grateful to both agencies for working through their differences in an effort to best serve the interests of credit unions and their members."

The Credit Union National Association also had urged the NCUA and NCCUD to work quickly to resolve differences regarding disclosure of a credit union's CAMEL rating and the use of dual exams.

CUNA Deputy General Counsel Mary Dunn commended the regulators' action and said, "This is a positive development that reflects a willingness from both sides to reach an agreement that will be better for credit unions." CUNA also thanked the North Carolina Credit Union League for its efforts in pursuing a favorable outcome.

CompBlog Wrap-Up asks: Are regulators listening?

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WASHINGTON (2/11/13)--As Credit Union National Association compliance staff looked back through January's regulatory results, they detected a rarity-something credit unions will hope will form a new trend. The National Credit Union Administration and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau both appeared not only to think about how their actions might burden the regulated, they also took steps to do something about it.

January was a busy month for new rules to say the least,. The NCUA addressed the small credit union definition, its 2013 annual performance plan, and low-income designations. The CFPB released a barrage of mortgage regulations.

In the January edition of CUNA's CompBlog Wrap-Up, Senior Vice President for Compliance Kathy Thompson notes that the NCUA and CFPB regulatory actions, which incorporated suggestions made by CUNA and credit unions, show that regulators may be beginning to "get" the message--consistently sent by CUNA and crtedit unions--that they need to assess and adjust for regulatory burden.

Thompson's lead story in this month's wrap-up shares some insights on the NCUA's new definition of "small credit union" and a key thing credit unions under $50 million need to know about that definition.

That story also addresses:
  • CFPB small servicer exemptions;
  • The CFPB's mortgage servicing regulations; and
  • The CFPB's "ability-to-repay" regulations.
The Wrap-Up details recent NCUA grant program and National Flood Insurance Plan developments, and provides the latest news on the NCUA's examination priorities for this year.

And, as it does every month, this issue of CompBlog Wrap-Up lists the upcoming effective dates of new regulations, important compliance articles and reports to read, as well as CUNA training programs.

For more of the CUNA CompBlog Wrap-Up, and other compliance gems, use the resource link.

Va CDCU is assumed by NCUA

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ALEXANDRIA, Va. (2/11/13)--The National Credit Union Administration announced that it will continue normal member services while it works to address service and operational concerns at NCP Community Development FCU, of Norfolk, Va.

The NCUA assumed control of the small, $2 million-asset credit union Friday. The National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund insures individual accounts at NCP Community Development FCU up to $250,000.

NCP, currently with 709 member, has served a low-income community in the Hampton Roads area for 14 years. Members can continue to conduct financial transactions, including deposit and access funds, make loan payments and use shares.

The Federal Credit Union Act authorizes the NCUA to appoint itself conservator when necessary to conserve the assets of a federally insured credit union, protect members' interests, or protect the Share Insurance Fund.

NCP Community Development FCU is the first federally insured credit union placed into conservatorship in 2013.

New, improved Regulatory Advocacy Report released today

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WASHINGTON (2/11/13)--To better assist member credit unions with the ever-growing challenge of staying apprised of regulatory developments, the Credit Union National Association has enhanced its weekly Regulatory Advocacy Report to deliver even more value.

The report now features improved search capabilities, improved delivery, and enhanced access for CUNA members.

"The report has been redesigned with a whole new look, but with the same in-depth content you have come to expect and rely on from us," CUNA Deputy General Counsel Mary Dunn said. "It will continue to give you the best and most updated information available to credit unions on where they stand on key credit union issues and what CUNA has done to advocate for them," she added.

The report is now delivered on a new date: Mondays instead of Fridays. National Credit Union Administration board meeting summaries will continue to be released on the day of the meeting.

Employees or volunteers of a CUNA/state credit union league affiliated credit union will be able to sign up to receive the report.

The Regulatory Advocacy Report will be archived on