The NCUA’s decision to review its examination cycle comes after months of advocacy from CUNA, especially its Examination and Supervision Subcommittee, seeking a longer timeframe between examinations. Chaired by Paul Gentile, president/CEO of the Cooperative Credit Union Association, the subcommittee has met numerous times with the NCUA over the past year, including two separate fly-ins by committee members from around the country.
NCUA Chair Rick Metsger announced late last week that the agency will take a thoughtful look at the examination process and will form a working group on examinations, with the goal of making further changes “sooner rather than later.”
At the board’s Thursday meeting, the NCUA was briefed on call report modernization and other technological improvements that could lead to an extended cycle.
“It's refreshing to see NCUA discussing operational issues such as the call report deadlines and processes, as well as extending the exam cycle. These are meaningful relief efforts for credit unions of all sizes,” Gentile said. “The key is we need to move these to fruition and deliver these tangible regulatory relief benefits to the credit union system.”
Gentile and the league helped coordinate a roundtable discussion with Rep. Frank Guinta (R-N.H.) and then-chair of the NCUA Debbie Matz. During the discussion, Gentile noted that a dialogue with the agency and credit unions should consider possible triggering events that would allow (or preclude) certain credit unions to be examined less often than every 12 months.
Guinta, who asked a number of questions during the discussion about ways the NCUA could extend its examination cycle, during the discussion, went on to circulate a letter with Rep. Ruben Hinojosa (D-Texas) urging the agency to extend the cycle. The letter was eventually signed by 30 lawmakers.
Metsger says he hopes to remove the requirement that credit unions are examined once every calendar year within the next two months.