NCUA Western Region Meeting

On Thursday, April 4, the National Credit Union Administration’s Western Region Leadership team met with league executives and credit union executives from the Western Region to discuss ways to improve the examination process, support small credit unions, and implement new regulatory standards.  Those attending also highlighted areas of marked improvement in exam communication, and commended Western Region Director, Cherie Freed for piloting an internal supervisory review process to ensure exam consistency—a process that is expected to be rolled out nationwide in the future. 

The agenda for this meeting was developed with input from the 22 states that make up the Western Region, which stretches from Hawaii/Alaska to Nebraska. The Western Region is a result of consolidation from five to three NCUA regions that went into effect Jan. 5, 2019.  

NCUA’s Western Region Management team encouraged credit unions to:

  • Pick up the phone and elevate issues appropriately. The chain would typically be to address an issue with the EIC, followed by a discussion with the Supervisory Examiner, and if something still can’t be resolved, to call the Regional Director.
  • Have lively dialogues with examiners. For example, it is okay to ask an examiner what they would expect to see in deciding a concentration limit.
  • Give the examiners a heads up about new products and changes to strategic plans and directions. Have an open line of communication with examiners.

League executives and credit unions asked the Western Region to:

  • Support efforts to raise the extended exam threshold for well-run credit unions up to $3 billion;
  • To outline expectations for Purchase and Assumption agreements;
  • To share data with state regulators demonstrating the efficacy of defined scope exams;
  • Require logistics and coordination training as a pre-requisite to becoming an Examiner in Charge (EIC);
  • To eliminate redundancy between IS&T exams and the ACET or CAT. In addition, we asked that the NCUA accept the CAT in lieu of the ACET, if that is the standard preferred by the prudential regulator;
  • Reallocate resources for onsite support of small credit unions and remove references encouraging merger consideration in videos aimed at small credit unions offered on CURE’s learning Management Service;
  • And to improve communication particularly with boards and supervisory committees.

Cherie provided an update on how the alternating exam pilot program was progressing for California state-chartered credit unions, how the new Modern Examination and Risk Identification Tool (MERIT) would be implemented in coordination with prudential regulators, the status of virtual examinations, and an update on the Field of Membership lawsuit.

Posted in Advocacy on the Move.