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CUNA welcomes NCUA board candidates experience

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WASHINGTON (10/24/11)--President Barack Obama announced late last week that he intends to nominate Carla León-Decker to become a member of the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) board, and Credit Union National Association (CUNA) President/CEO Bill Cheney said CUNA appreciates the White House nominating to the NCUA board an individual with credit union experience.

Cheney added that the nomination of León-Decker, who is the current president/CEO of D.C. Government Employee's FCU, "is important when appropriate safety and soundness policy is under consideration."

Gigi Hyland, whose six-year term on the NCUA board ended in August, congratulated León-Decker, saying the credit union executive "has extensive knowledge of the credit union system" and will "bring her acumen to the regulatory realm."

León-Decker served as Operations Manager and, later, as president/CEO of PAHO/WHO FCU from 1994 to 2000, and also served as branch manager of Transportation FCU between 1988 and 1994. She is also a credit union development educator and director of the Network of Latino Credit Unions & Professionals.

NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz said León-Decker "will bring valuable perspectives to the NCUA Board---particularly her inspiring commitment to providing affordable financial services for recent immigrants, low-income families, and many people of modest means."

Her nomination is subject to congressional approval, and CUNA will work with the Senate as the nomination moves forward. A vote on the nomination could possibly come before the end of the year.

NCUA outlines OCP structure consumer complaint process

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ALEXANDRIA, Va. (10/24/11)--The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) provided additional detail on the two divisions of its Office of Consumer Protection (OCP), and covered the agency's member complaint resolution process, in a letter to credit unions (11-CU-17) released late last week.

In its letter, NCUA stated that it "designed OCP to segregate consumer protection and consumer compliance responsibilities from those involving safety and soundness."

The NCUA said its Division of Consumer Access will cover:
  • New federal credit union charters;
  • Charter conversions;
  • Field-of-membership expansions;
  • Bylaw amendments; and
  • Low-income designations.
The Division of Consumer Compliance and Outreach (CCO) will:
  • Address consumer compliance policies, program and rulemaking;
  • Act as an interagency liaison on consumer protection and compliance issues;
  • Conduct fair lending examinations;
  • Manage its own consumer call center and financial literacy and outreach programs; and
  • Serve as the agency's ombudsman. 
The agency also outlined how the CCO would handle consumer complaints, saying that complaints and any related documents that are submitted by credit union members to the CCO would first be forwarded on to the chairman of the given credit union's supervisory committee. The CCO will request a response within 21 days, and will "review the response to ensure it adequately addresses the member's complaint and that the action(s) taken, if any, are consistent with consumer protection laws and regulations."

The CCO will request additional information if needed, and will update the credit union and the credit union member once the case has been fully examined or resolved, the NCUA said. Member complaints may be addressed by the credit union. However, the complaints may also result in legal or regulatory action, and the CCO will inform the credit union and the credit union member of any further actions that could be taken, the agency added.

The Credit Union National Association has urged the NCUA to provide more information about the operations of the OCP and will continue to push for assurances that the OCP will not interfere with credit unions' operations or seek to add to the regulatory burdens placed on credit unions nationwide.