WASHINGTON-CUNA is conducting a national survey of credit unions about their recent experiences with examinators and the New Jersey CU League is already issuing results of a similar effort for all NCUA Region II credit unions that it spearheaded.

The New Jersey CU League has released results of the Credit Union Regulatory Examination Assistance and Development Survey of Region 2 CUs, which found that credit unions continue to feel the strain due to increased regulatory burdens.

The league said many credit unions reported seeing items show up in their Documents of Resolution that they have never seen before.


'The Crux of the Survey'

"The crux of the survey is to utilize the results to work constructively with regulators on both how to improve the exam process and find areas ripe for regulatory relief, as well as give credit unions tools to deal with emerging issues," said NJCUL CEO Paul Gentile in a statement. "Having an ongoing measurement of the exam process helps us as leagues better advocate with regulators because we understand what's happening on the ground at credit unions and we can identify trends, both good and bad. It is not a 'gotcha' tool against regulators. It's also helping us identify what is going very well in exams and could be broadened out."


Key Discussions & Findings

Key survey discussions at the meeting included topics such as excessive Documents of Resolution (DoR) being applied, level of satisfaction with exams, examiner time management issues and flexibility throughout the exam process. Among the findings:

* 64.4% of responding credit unions have been presented with a Document of Resolution (DoR) in their last exam.

* 55.9% of experienced credit union leaders that responded strongly agree and agree they are seeing items in their DoRs that they have not ever seen before.

* 54.6% indicated that they agree/strongly agree that items showing up in DoRs (no evidence of violation of regulation/state or federal law) are much heavier than ever before.

* 80.8% of respondents said they strongly agree/agree heavier regulatory/exam requirements increased pressure on CU resources.

* Examiners received high marks for professionalism and helpfulness, with both categories receiving a 45.8% ranking them as good and 33.7% ranking them as excellent; 44.6% felt their examiner(s) were good in terms of fairness and 33.7% in objectivity.

* 51.8% of respondents agree that examiner(s) were knowledgeable about the credit union and 57.8% key Safety and Soundness issues and regulatory requirements.

* 27.9% of respondents said their on-site exams lasted 13 days or greater, while another 45.2% responded that their exam lasted exactly from four to nine days.

The CUNA survey explores similar issues related to both NCUA-examined and state-examined credit unions, the duration of on-site exams, how satisfied a CU was with the process and results and which problem areas were noted by the examiner. The trade group is also asking what are the biggest issues CUs would like CUNA and their leagues to focus on to reduce regulatory compliance burdens.

Credit unions have until Dec. 15 to complete the survey, which has been e-mailed to CUNA members and is available at CUNA's website, located in the "hot topics" section of the CUNA Regulatory Advocacy home page and the "regulations and compliance" section of the CUNA home page.

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