Input from credit union leaders and CUNA has been essential to the NCUA’s recent efforts to modernize the examination system, and it will be needed in the future, said CUNA Chief Advocacy Officer Ryan Donovan, who also acknowledged NCUA Chair Rick Metsger’s leadership on this matter. As the process moves forward, Donovan thanked credit unions for their efforts so far, and urged them to submit feedback and other information as needed.
“As many of you are aware, in his initial board meeting as chair, NCUA Chairman Rick Metsger prioritized several projects that will have a large impact on credit unions and how they interact with the NCUA,” Donovan said. “This includes the Enterprise Solutions Modernization Program that will include upgrades/enhancements to the Call Report System, ARIES System, CU Online, and others.
“Further, Chairman Metsger has directed the agency to modernize its examination and supervision program having assigned Regional Director Keith Morton to lead the Exam Flexibility Initiative. Last week, during a meeting we had previously scheduled with Larry Fazio from the NCUA, Fazio indicated this is likely a two- to four-year project with many moving parts.
“Let's stop right here for a moment and remember that nothing in the public policy arena happens in a vacuum. We find ourselves in this position because credit union leaders like you have been pushing in the same direction to get these issues addressed over the last 5-plus years, raising awareness before Congress and the NCUA.
“The data that credit unions have contributed to our evergreen exam burden survey since 2012 has provided evidence of the challenges credit unions face, and that has helped us make our case to policymakers in literally hundreds of meetings over the past several years.
“Likewise, it is important to acknowledge the leadership that NCUA Chairman Metsger is demonstrating by recognizing these issues and leading the agency to address them. We are still closer to the beginning of this process than the end, but this is headed in the right direction.
“Because of the scope, complexity and potential impact of this massive modernization project, it is obviously very important for all stakeholders to continue to work together to achieve the best possible outcome for credit unions. This is an enormous undertaking that, if done properly, could result in a number of positive changes for credit unions.
“To that end, CUNA is developing an advocacy strategy similar to the successful approach taken for Risk Based Capital--the difference, of course, is that this time we’re trying to take something that could be very positive and make it even better.
“We will be working closely with our Advocacy Committee, its Examination and Supervision Subcommittee, our League partners, Council members and member credit unions to develop a set of principles to guide us through the process, and we will be working to make sure that NCUA hears from staff and volunteers at credit unions that work most closely with examiners and call reports.
“Throughout the process, we will be interested in working with and hearing from you because it is important that, at the end of what could be a significantly comprehensive process, we end up with a system that reduces the burden on credit unions, properly modernizes the overall supervisory process, and results in an overall stronger credit union system.”