Q: From your experience how did hearing from credit unions help shape your perspective?
A: Since I’ve been chairman I’ve held 19 in-person listening sessions and 13 industry-wide webinars in addition to crisscrossing the country to meet with credit union officials from every state.
We get some really good ideas from credit union officials that I wouldn’t get sitting in my office in our headquarters, or just talking to trade association officials.
When I go out and talk to the people who run the credit union, who understand the day-to-day business, they can tell me some of the practical processes and procedures that we require that are maybe unduly burdening them or tripping them up. They can tell me things we could cut back on or things we aren’t doing that we can do that would help them do their business better.
For instance, in a meeting with some credit union officials, they pointed out to me that our call report cycle provided less time for them to refer to us than [banks to the] the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. That was something I didn’t know, and something we’ve been able to address.
The first time I heard there had been an issue with troubled debt restructuring was from a credit union volunteer who indicated that NCUA’s policy was preventing them from doing what I was asking them to do, which was to keep people in their homes, so we were able to address that.
I heard over and over and over again that NCUA requiring a personal guarantee on all member business loans was sometimes costing the credit union not only the loan but the member.
We were able to modify that when we finalized our member business lending rule. Even though that rule doesn’t go into effect until January, the personal guarantee will be lifted May 13.
Time and again, when I meet with credit union officials they give me good suggestions, they let me know what’s working, what’s not working, whether we need to communicate better, and we often can respond to their concerns.