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Washington
NCUA backs coordinated consumer hotline
WASHINGTON (12/13/07)—The National Credit Union Administration’s (NCUA’s) current consumer complaint system works well but the regulator supports a plan to establish a single, toll-free hotline number for all consumers complaints associated with any financial institution, NCUA Executive Director Leonard Skiles testified Wednesday. However, Skiles stressed the importance that the NCUA continue to have direct responsibility over inquiries regarding credit unions. The agency, he said, is the authority on the unique nature of credit unions, and especially the use of a credit union’s independent supervisory committee to resolve disputes. He was testifying before the House Financial Services subcommittee on financial institutions and consumer credit on the "Financial Consumer Hotline Act of 2007." While underscoring the NCUA’s belief that its present system works, Skiles also acknowledged that the multitude of regulators, the distinction between federal and state regulatory responsibility, and the increasing complexity of financial institution ownership structures can make it difficult for consumers to know which regulatory agency can assist them. "Frankly, consumers just want the problem fixed, and Congress' proposal would improve the process to do just that," Skiles said. Skiles represented the NCUA as part of the subcommittee’s first panel of witnesses, comprised of federal and state financial institution regulators. A second panel of witnesses featured consumer groups, Consumers Union and U.S. Public Interest Group. Use the resource link below to access Skiles' complete testimony.
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