ALEXANDRIA, Va. (4/18/13)--The National Credit Union Administration has enhanced its employee ethics standards, adding new rules that would prevent its workers, including examiners, from taking on additional credit union employment to avoid potential conflicts of interest.
As of the effective date yesterday, agency employees must also obtain agency approval for any outside work they engage in. The NCUA made the ethics policy enhancements in a final rule adopted at a closed meeting in February. The rule is entitled "Supplemental Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the National Credit Union Administration."
An outright prohibition against NCUA employees, other than special government employees, working for credit unions, credit union service organizations, credit union trade groups, and related entities "is appropriate and necessary because such employment or other service would either involve a direct conflict of interest or the appearance of a conflict of interest," the NCUA said in the final rule.
"For example, an NCUA examiner could not serve as a volunteer director of a credit union as this would present an appearance of a conflict of interest as well as other potential violations of the Standards. Neither could an NCUA examiner serve as a paid part-time manager of a credit union for the same reasons," the NCUA wrote.
The final rule notes there have been recent cases in which NCUA employees' outside activities have "resulted in either an appearance of or an actual conflict of interest."
Most financial regulatory agency supplemental ethics regulations contain an outright prohibition against their employees working for their own regulated entities as well as affiliated entities, in any capacity, the NCUA added.
The new NCUA document supplements ethical conduct standards that were issued by the Office of Government Ethics.
For the NCUA final rule, as published in the Federal Register, use the resource link.