ARLINGTON, Va.–Both CU trade associations are questioning NCUA’s 2013 proposed budget, with CUNA terming the agency’s move “exasperating” while NAFCU contends the amount is hard to justify.
“This year’s $14.5-million increase, which follows last year’s increase, is difficult to justify in the current economic climate,” said NAFCU president Fred Becker in a published statement. “Perhaps most troubling is that $12.8 million of this increase is for a 7.5% increase in pay.”
Becker said NAFCU has continually urged NCUA to demonstrate greater restraint in its spending to address the agency’s most urgent needs. “We also believe NCUA should be more transparent with regard to the budget process. There was planned spending of $236.9 million last year, but that was cut by $2 million in July. NCUA said that would go to offset 2013 operating fees, but we would be hard-pressed to see how that is being carried out. If this 7.5% pay raise, which is in and of itself highly questionable, doesn’t go through, where will that money go, and how will it affect 2014?”
CUNA president Bill Cheney, in an e-mail statement, said the budget increase is exasperating for CUs, “particularly as other federal financial institution regulators have held the line on their own budgets. Clearly the NCUA board believes it has no reason to take a similar line–one that the President of the United States has personally mandated for federal agencies. The issue of ever-increasing budgets at the agency, in our view, necessitates greater oversight, accountability and transparency. We will express our deep concerns to the Obama Administration, as well as to lawmakers regarding oversight of the NCUA’s budget. The agency must be held accountable for its budget decisions–and we intend to ensure that will happen.”
CUs Shrinking, NCUA Getting Larger
Dale Verderano, CEO of the $140-million Matadors Community CU, Chatsworth, Calif., hopes CUNA and NAFCU don’t just “play politics. They need to meet and discuss this with members of Congress. Why is NCUA expanding their workforce
and putting $400,000 into capital improvements when there is, on the average, one credit union a day that either merges or goes out of business. The number of credit unions is shrinking, not growing.” –