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L-R: Lucy Ito, EVP and COO of the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues; Dennis Flannigan, CEO of Great Basin FCU; Liz Whitehead, Region V Director for the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA); Dave Gunderson, CEO of Credit Union of Southern California; and Sharon Lindeman, Vice President of Regulatory Advocacy for the Leagues

updated 03/28/14 11:05 AM
Leagues, CEOs Relay Concerns
In a continuing effort to effectively communicate regulatory concerns, representatives from the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues joined other western state league officials and credit union CEOs in a meeting with National Credit Union Association (NCUA) Regional Director Liz Whitehead (Region V) last week.

Nevada credit unions moved back to Region V from Region I as of Jan. 1, 2013. California credit unions moved back to Region V from Regions II, III, and IV by Jan. 1 of this year.

The Leagues’ representatives included President and CEO Diana Dykstra, Executive Vice President and COO Lucy Ito, and Vice President of Regulatory Advocacy Sharon Lindeman. Joining the Leagues were Dave Gunderson, CEO of Credit Union of Southern California and the Leagues’ Regulatory Advocacy Committee chairman, and Dennis Flannigan, CEO Great Basin FCU.

“The meeting was a tremendous success,” Gunderson said. “Liz Whitehead and her team invested several hours to listen to our comments, perspectives, and recommendations. It was refreshing to discuss the NCUA and credit unions’ common goal of ensuring safety and soundness, as well as some respectful dialog regarding different strategies to achieve this goal.”

Flannigan added: “The meeting entailed good open constructive communication and discussion of the exam survey and other key issues. Liz Whitehead and her senior staff all seemed practical and hesitant to strict oversight without considering the context.”

Lindeman noted that the event provided an “excellent opportunity” for open, collaborative dialogue about regulatory and examination issues. "We appreciate Director Whitehead making time in her schedule to hear our concerns,” Lindeman said.

CUNA Exam Survey Report
The Leagues obtained an advance copy of the CUNA/League 2013 Exam Survey Report, which provided a basis for good dialog, including:

  • Region V exams are improving across the board. This is not true of other regions.
  • Region V attitudes towards exams were improved in 2013 (25 percent were dissatisfied) compared to 2012 (30 percent were dissatisfied). Nationally, there was a slight decline (in 2012, 25 percent were dissatisfied; and in 2013, 27 percent were dissatisfied).
  • Region V credit unions saw a substantial improvement in the use of Documents of Resolutions (DORs) between 2012 (46 percent) and 2013 (39 percent). Nationally, there was little change in examiners’ use of DORs (in 2012, 43 percent; in 2013, 41 percent).
  • Region V exams more closely resemble the exam experience of the other regions, but gaps remain. For example, in 2013, Region V credit unions were 30 percent more likely overall to be cited for one of the five most common exam issues than credit unions in other regions (compared to 38 percent more likely in 2012).

As to the use of DORs, Region V senior staff commented that their objective of the exam modernization and changes to DORs is not to ensure the number reduces, but to ensure the DORs are used for material findings—those that could cause a credit union to fail.

In regard to Region V exam findings, the five most common exam issues included: loan policies, Allowance for Loan Losses (ALL), strategic planning, interest rate risk, and loan concentration. Whitehead said the higher percentage of findings in Region V could simply be a result of the region having a higher percentage of larger credit unions.

The Leagues encourage all California and Nevada credit unions to complete the joint CUNA/League Exam Survey in 2014. The aggregate data will help ensure California and Nevada credit unions’ exam experiences are captured, and any negative trends can be brought to the region’s attention.

Supervision Consistency and Quality Control
In an effort to realize greater consistency across all NCUA regions and in examinations from credit union to credit union, NCUA has adopted two programs since California and Nevada credit unions were previously part of Region V. First, all NCUA examination staff are now guided by the National Supervision Policy Manual (NSPM), the agency’s internal policy for supervisory operations and procedures.

Second, all regions, including Region V, now routinely carry out Quality Control Reviews (QCRs) to specifically identify and address exam inconsistencies. Credit unions that experience quality control issues may contact Region V staff directly or via the Leagues.

Risk-Based Capital
The proposed risk-based capital rule was discussed, including remarks on how an examiner can require even greater capital than the proposed rule sets for an individual credit union.

Whitehead commented that any “individual minimal capital requirements” would have to go through the regional director and to the NCUA board for approval; that such a requirement would not be established by an examiner. In addition, a credit union can appeal the decision.

The Leagues strongly oppose any greater authority for the NCUA to impose additional capital requirements on a case-by-case basis. The Leagues encourage credit unions to review the proposal, the information and resources available on the Credit Union National Association’s (CUNA) website and in PowerComment, and submit a comment letter to NCUA on this and many other concerns with the proposal before the May 28 deadline. The Leagues also encourage credit unions to register for and attend NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz’s June 26 “Listening Session” in Los Angeles. Due to space constraints, registration is limited to 150 people.

Also, click here to access CUNA’s Risk-Based Capital Action Center.

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NCUA's Charter and FOM Proposal
The California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues will be working with its congressional delegation from both states to enlist support for the National Credit Union Administration’s (NCUA) proposed rule on chartering and fields of membership.

NEVADA'S MOMENT IN THE SUN updated 11/24/15 08:17 AM
Local CU vs. Bank Footprint
Nevada credit unions could be on track to surpassing every other state as the No. 1 loan originator in the industry during the past quarter compared to a year ago—a trend that speaks of the deep, years-long financial rebuilding process taking place for residents living in one of the hardest hit regions during and after the Great Recession.

CUs Encouraged to Comment
At the National Credit Union Administration’s (NCUA) board meeting this morning, the board issued a field of membership (FOM) proposal for comment. The California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues will carefully review the proposal and provide members with more information it the near future. Member credit unions are encouraged to consider and comment on the proposal, including support of positive changes and thoughts on how it can be further improved. Comments will be accepted for 60 days after the proposal is published in the Federal Register.

SCE FCU Becomes First in CA
The California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues have announced a partnership with the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions to help interested credit unions in both states become designated as “Juntos Avanzamos” (Together We Advance) organizations.

NCUA OPEN FORUM: 'LICU' DESIGNATIONS updated 11/16/15 02:25 PM
Upcoming FOM Considerations
At the National Credit Union Administration’s (NCUA) open forum on Oct. 30, a representative from the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues asked for clarification on how and when the NCUA reviews low-income credit union designations.

AGENDA: BILLS TO KEEP CFPB IN CHECK updated 11/16/15 02:20 PM
House Lawmakers Return
On the House agenda for consideration in the coming days are two bills the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues and the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) support as a means toward keeping the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in check.

Ten Different Credit Unions Represented
As reported earlier in the Leagues' Advocacy Blog, credit union leaders met today with Rep. Linda Sanchez.

Summary of Rule's Framework
Credit union managers, staff, and boards can learn more about the National Credit Union Administration’s (NCUA) risk- based capital rule and what to expect during its three-year implementation period in a new video recently released by the agency.

Nevada CU CEO Testifies at Hearing updated 11/09/15 12:23 PM
Regulations Facing CUs Discussed
The House Committee on Small Businesses held a subcommittee field hearing this afternoon in North Las Vegas. Representative Cresent Hardy (R-N.Las Vegas) as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigation and Regulation invited Robin Simmers, CEO of Pahranagat Valley Federal Credit Union of Nevada to testify on the topic of overburdening regulations facing credit unions as both a financial institution and small business. In her testimony, Simmers raised several continual concerns addressing small and rural credit unions such as BSA compliance, one-size fits all rules in CFPB regulation, and examinations of smaller credit unions. A link to her written testimony (available in the days ahead) and details on the hearing can be found here.

LEAGUE PAC ACTIVITIES AT 'REACH' updated 11/09/15 12:09 PM
Golf Tourney; CU Leaders Honored
In addition to the array of speakers, REACH 2015 also featured a sold-out PAC Golf Tournament and credit union leaders and vendors being honored for their contributions to political advocacy.

NCUA's MCWATTERS, METSGER AT 'REACH' updated 11/09/15 11:16 AM
Board Members Discuss Topics
REACH 2015 attendees were treated to visits by both National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Board Member Mark McWatters and Vice Chairman Rick Metsger during the conference. Below are some highlights.

Impart Insightful Perspectives
Last week’s REACH 2015 featured an array of inspirational speakers who gave attendees ready-to-implement tactics and ideas to recharge their credit unions and rethink what’s possible.

APRIL RINNE: THE 'SHARING ECONOMY' updated 11/06/15 11:45 AM
Potential for Credit Unions
April Rinne—advisor on the “sharing economy” and young global leader for the World Economic Forum—brought the “REACH” conference to a close Friday by defining the sharing economy and exposing credit unions to how this growing sector of the world is making a fundamental paradigm shift in consumers and workers relating to each other.

Managing Energy, not Time, is Key
Stacey Sullivan, performance coach with Johnson & Johnson’s Human Performance Institute, left “REACH” conference attendees with some insightful parting words in the second-half of Friday morning’s general session.

DAVE LOGAN: KNOW WHAT NOT TO CHANGE updated 11/06/15 11:13 AM
5 Stages Professionals Work In
Dave Logan, president of CultureSync, challenged attendees on the last day of the “REACH” convention to never change “things that always must stay the same—because they ground us and tell us who we are.”

Plus, REACH Innovation Group
Two significant innovation-centered segments during Thursday afternoon’s general session at “REACH” had audience members searching for how they could implement new concepts at their credit union.

CU LEADERS AWARDED: 'PAC' ADVOCACY updated 11/05/15 12:34 PM
California and Nevada Advocates
The California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues honored recipients of its annual PAC Awards (Political Action Committee) on stage during “REACH” on Thursday afternoon, paying tribute to the hard-working efforts of political advocacy.

NCUA'S MCWATTERS VISITS 'REACH' updated 11/05/15 12:32 PM
Advocates Better NCUA Communication
National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Board Member Mark McWatters stopped by the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues’ annual conference, “REACH,” to address credit union executives and board members regarding his agenda and the agency’s plans toward the end of the year.

Pierce, Rutkowski, and Suber
Three outstanding innovators and thinkers took to the stage during Thursday morning’s general session at “REACH,” opening credit union leaders’ eyes to the possibilities of what role that crypto-currency, digital disruption, the “access economy,” and peer-to-peer lending might play in the industry.

For Their Service and More
Six credit union leaders from California and Nevada were honored at a private reception and on stage during Thursday’s general session of “REACH” with the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues’ annual “League Awards.”

'Invent' to Impact Community
Pablos Holman challenged Wednesday afternoon’s “REACH” audience during opening general session to “think about providing consumers what others can’t” and “what our relationship will be with change and disruption now and in the future.”

NCUA'S RICK METSGER AT 'REACH' updated 11/04/15 11:58 AM
Discusses MBL and FOM
National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Board Member Rick Metsger visited a credit union volunteer reception and executive reception during this year’s “REACH” conference to foster the relationship credit unions have with their federal regulator.

SHAPIRO RECEPTION: HUB FOR SMALL CUs updated 11/04/15 11:56 AM
Leaders Look Back, and Forward
CEOs and other leaders from small credit unions—often cited the backbone and soul of the credit union industry—gathered at a special annual reception during “REACH” on Wednesday afternoon to honor how far they’ve come within their collaborative efforts, as well as take a peak into the future.

'REACH' Attendees Participate
More than two dozen “REACH” attendees headed over to the Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) diaper project, where they put together diaper pins that were “premature” baby size—a remembrance of just how small a life can struggle with illness or disease.