NAFCU Response To Matz Regarding NCUA Office Of Consumer Protection

The Honorable Deborah Matz
National Credit Union Administration
1775 Duke Street
Alexandria, VA  22314

            RE:      NCUA’s Office of Consumer Protection Procedures
Dear Chairman Matz:
On behalf of the National Association of Federal Credit Unions (NAFCU), the only trade association that exclusively represents federal credit unions (FCUs), I am writing in response to your letter dated June 15, 2011, which makes the very unfortunate, and erroneous, inference that we requested that the agency “conceal” legal or regulatory violations on the part of credit unions. 
As you know, NAFCU was an early advocate and strong supporter of the agency’s creation of the OCP.   It is because NAFCU supports the new OCP that we believe it should not serve as a judicial finder of fact.  Should the OCP make legal findings regarding statutory or regulatory violations, its role will not only be seriously diminished, but it will, ultimately, be ineffective.  No reasonable credit union – or any other business for that matter – would willingly provide any information it is not legally required to disclose to any government entity or division thereof if the entity’s or division’s role is to make legal adjudications. 
Your letter indicates that the agency would be happy to respond to specific questions we may have regarding the OCP procedures.  In this regard, we have not received a specific response as to how a credit union’s administrative rights will be upheld by the new office. The lack of information regarding a credit union’s specific administrative rights continues to cause concern and will give pause to any credit union that receives a request for information from the OCP.
If the NCUA intends the OCP to act as a quasi-judicial body, alerting members anytime it believes a violation has occurred, credit unions have no option but to treat the OCP complaint process in an adversarial manner.  This would be unfortunate as it would not only delay resolution for the member, but also create needless new legal and regulatory burdens for the credit union and, ultimately, serve to undermine the office’s effectiveness.
In conclusion, the connotation that we asked the agency to “conceal” information from credit union members is not only erroneous, but very unfortunate.  Given the inference in your letter, I believe it is imperative that you and I, along with our key staff, meet to discuss this issue at the earliest opportunity.  


Fred R. Becker, Jr.

cc:        Board Member Gigi Hyland

            Board Member Michael E. Fryzel

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