NCUA Sets Low Bar for Fair Lending Exams

by Keith Leggett

The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) appears to set the bar pretty low when it comes to examining credit unions for fair lending compliance.

According to NCUA’s 2013 Annual Performance Plan, the agency estimated that it completed 11 fair lending exams in 2012. Its target for 2013/2014 is 18 completed fair lending exams annually.

I hope the agency does not think 18 completed fair lending exams annually constitutes a stretch goal. This would mean that 99 percent of federal credit unions will not be examined for fair lending compliance over the next two years.

In fact, Department of Justice reports that between 2001 and 2011 NCUA never made a single fair lending referral. This absence of any referrals is probably due to NCUA’s “See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil” approach to examining credit unions for consumer compliance.

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