WASHINGTON (11/23/09)--While the National Credit Union Administration has long monitored the status of CAMEL Code 4/5 credit unions, the agency is taking a closer look at CAMEL Code 3 credit unions with the recent addition of a CAMEL Code 3 slide to its monthly report on National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF) and Temporary Corporate Credit Union Stabilization Fund (TCCUSF) statistics. The CAMEL Code rating system, employed by the NCUA, is meant to gauge the overall financial condition of credit unions. It is thought that the CAMEL Code 3 slide, which was first added during last month’s NCUA board meeting at the behest of Chairman Debbie Matz, could be a response to the record growth of CAMEL Code 4/5 credit unions. Matz told News Now that the “NCUA’s increased supervisory efforts are aimed at mitigating and preventing any further deteriorations in credit union balance sheets.” “The 2010 budget represents an attempt to accomplish this in a variety of ways, such as augmented staff resources, additions to subject matter expertise among NCUA examiners, and a more stringent application of administrative orders,” she added. NCUA Chief Financial Officer Mary Ann Woodson last month reported a total increase of 55 CAMEL Code 4/5 problem credit unions from the amount reported one year ago. At this month’s meeting, which took place November 19 in Alexandria, Va., Woodson reported a total of 1,637 CAMEL Code 3 credit unions, which held a total of $101.6 billion in total assets and $87.7 billion in total shares. According to the NCUA numbers, there were 1,540 CAMEL Code 3 credit unions as of Dec. 31, 2008, with $68 billion in assets and $80.4 billion in shares between them. While the overall numbers for CAMEL Code 3 credit unions have been steady, CAMEL Code 4/5 credit unions tell a different story, with Woodson reporting that the number of troubled credit unions with over $1 billion in assets has doubled to a total of ten as of October 31, 2009. The NCUA reported a total of five CAMEL Code 4/5 credit unions with $7.8 billion in total shares as of Dec. 31, 2008. The amount of CAMEL Code 4/5 credit unions reported has increased by 66 since the end of 2008, with the total assets held in these credit unions more than doubling during that time, for a total of $46.3 billion.