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CUNA Exam Survey Nets Impressive Turnout
WASHINGTON (2/25/13)--The Credit Union National Association received an impressive 1,500 responses to its recent examination issues survey. The majority of respondents said the examination process is working reasonably well, but credit union CEOs also overwhelmingly reported that regulatory and exam requirements are putting increasing pressure on credit unions.

"These findings will be very useful to CUNA and the leagues advocating on your behalf. This survey isn't to point fingers, it's to have quantifiable data we can use to work constructively with regulators," CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney said when he released the results.

"The strong response from credit unions will make this survey a powerful tool in national and state credit union advocacy efforts," said CUNA Chief Economist Bill Hampel.  "We also believe the responses are very candid, because we ensured respondents anonymity," he added

The CUNA survey asked credit unions to detail their experiences with on-site National Credit Union Administration and state regulatory examinations, and to describe their satisfaction level with both the federal and state examinations process. Credit unions also described the strengths and weaknesses of the examination system.

NCUA examiners scored high marks in several areas, including being well-informed about safety and soundness issues and regulations. Respondents credited NCUA regional offices and state supervisory offices with being responsive when issues arose. More often than not, CEOs said that overall the exam was helpful to the credit union.

"There were a lot of good results to build on, but we also have a lot of work to do to improve the exam process," Cheney said.

Exam concerns cited by survey respondents included:
  • Examiners applying "best practices" and general guidance as if they were enforceable regulations;
  • Overuse of  Documents of Resolution; and
  • Generally lower ratings for joint NCUA/state regulatory exams when compared to independent exams by either of those regulators.
Overall, 25% of survey respondents said they were not satisfied with their examinations. "That's too high and we'll be discussing this with NCUA," Cheney said.

CUNA has shared the summary survey results with NCUA and NASCUS officials. CUNA plans to repeat the survey next year.

For the complete survey results, use the resource link.
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