I have never seen such a gutless individual as the author of the article that appeared in Credit Union Journal on Jan. 10 titled "Why I'm Not Willing to Sign My Name."
I have been a credit union board member for over 30 years. I can't remember when the leadership of the NCUA has been as bad as it is today. I am sure that the economy has a lot to do this, but I strongly feel that it is not entirely to blame.
Individuals in leadership roles who are not willing to stand up and shout from the rooftops when they see something wrong share much of the blame. Debbie Matz and her cabinet are in this category. I am ashamed to see a man or woman in leadership unwilling to stand up and correct a wrong. Matz and her crew are not leaders; and should not be leading the NCUA. They are politicians and followers.
I recall speaking to Ms. Matz one or two years ago in San Diego after she had spoken at a town hall meeting. She told us how bad the credit unions were doing because of poor management, bad practices and untrustworthy CEOs and board members. She went on to tell us of how many credit unions had failed due to these problems and were taken over.
From the verbal picture she was painting to us, these CEOs and board members were nothing more than financial swindlers. After listening to her, I had an opportunity to speak to her and asked how many of these crooked CEOs and board members NCUA has had arrested for defrauding and conspiring to defraud their credit union members and the United States government. Ms. Matz looked at me, and with a sad face said "None! But in the future we intend to."
Time To Prosecute The Guilty
Well, the future came, and nobody was arrested, jailed or imprisoned. Ms. Matz, that is not good enough. You have a responsibility to all the credit union members to insure that all credit unions have sound financial practices and procedures and the ones that violated such practices and procedures are prosecuted for malfeasance.
Ms. Matz and her crew have failed to investigate and prosecute such violators. In addition, I must agree with the unnamed author of the article when he says that the NCUA is as much to blame for the collapse of some credit unions as the corporate credit unions are to blame for mismanagement. Wescorp got in trouble, and from the sound of it, NCUA acted surprised when in fact they attended all the board meetings and oversaw the daily activities. It was no surprise. The shock and awe was when CUs were notified we would have to bail out the corporates for their mismanagement. The surprise was that NCUA did not have the guts to start locking up some of these financial swindlers eho operated or managed CUs taken over due to malfeasance and misfeasance.
To the unnamed author I say, never be afraid to stand up and identify wrongdoing by our government agencies or credit unions themselves.
Felix Rocha Jr., Board Member
FedOne FCU, Laguna Niguel, Calif.