As part of the Coops4Change process of providing credit unions a voice for regulatory priorities, a nationwide survey was launched in April. Preliminary results are in. The online survey, open to credit unions of any asset size, focuses on two Regulatory responsibilities: examinations and policy priorities.
Two examination questions evoked the strongest opinions. The first question asked credit unions to what extent they agreed-disagreed, on a 1-5 rating scale, with the statement that NCUA has been innovative in their approach to examinations. The overall average was 3.78 indicating a widely shared view that the Agency has not been innovative in this activity.
The issue of whether there should be an independent ombudsman (outside NCUA) to whom exam issues can refer had the highest support with almost all respondents indicating that this was extremely important.This option has been included in the Financial Institutions Examination and Reform Act submitted as a bipartisan bill supported by almost 200 House members in the last Congress.
Policy And Governance Issues
Nine questions looked at the way NCUA is administered. One change that received very high (“extremely important”) rating involves NCUSIF and CLF fund use. Over 80% of the responses to the question, how important is it that the positions overseeing the use of the NCUSIF and CLF funds include credit union and state regulatory representation, indicated a high need for change.
On the question of NCUA’s reporting on credit union contributions to national economic priorities in areas such as student lending, loan refinancing and first time home buyer programs to show the role of cooperative solutions, the overwhelming majority, almost 85%, believe this is an extremely important role of the regulator.
Credit Unions And Cooperative Principles
The survey’s purpose of providing a means for cooperatives to provide their voice in the governance of the system is part of the Coops4Change goal to better align credit unions and the regulators agendas. The first effort was the White House petition requesting President Obama nominate NCUA board members who understand cooperative principles. Almost 6,000 persons signed the petition in the 30 day window provided by the White House petition process.
The survey is still open with results tabulated monthly. To join the conversation, take the survey!