U.S. Rep. Duffy brings credit unions together with federal regulator in Wausau

PEWAUKEE, WI (August 5, 2014) — Credit union leaders from across Wisconsin came to Northcentral Technical College in Wausau Tuesday for a special meeting with the Chair of the Board of Directors from their federal insurer and regulator, the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). NCUA Chair Debbie Matz is in Wisconsin at the request of House Financial Services Committee Member Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Weston) to discuss issues affecting the member-owned cooperatives and how they provide financial services to their 2.4 million members in the state. Rep. Duffy is Vice-Chair of the House Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit.

“Credit unions welcome this tremendous opportunity to dialog because open communication helps ensure regulators fully understand the impact their decisions have on consumers, their access to credit and the cost they pay for financial services,” said Brett Thompson, President & CEO of The Wisconsin Credit Union League.

“We are extremely grateful to Rep. Duffy not only for listening to credit unions’ concerns about their operating environment—which has been strained by the massive changes in regulatory burden over the past several years—but also for appreciating the effects this pressure has on the wallets of Wisconsin consumers in general and those in his district in particular. His ongoing leadership and support are deeply appreciated,” Thompson said.

In addition to dialog with NCUA Chair Matz, attendees had an opportunity to discuss a variety of exam issues with NCUA’s Director of Examination and Insurance Larry Fazio, NCUA’s Region 1 Director Larry Blankenberger, and Wisconsin Office of Credit Unions Director and top state credit union regulator, Kim Santos. Topics included risk-based capital, cyber security, enterprise risk management, business lending, call reports, loan participations, CUSOs and the health of the economy.  Having regulators who are willing to make time to sit down for face-to-face discussion with credit union executives is a vital component of maintaining a strong and growing credit union system that benefits consumers and the communities they live and work in.

Most Wisconsin credit unions are state-chartered, placing the primary regulatory authority in the hands of the state Office of Credit Unions (OCU). Yet because NCUA insures credit union deposits up to $250,000 (just as FDIC does for banks), the agency conducts insurance reviews—a type of examination—of Wisconsin credit unions in conjunction with the OCU to ensure safety & soundness and the health of the insurance fund that protects the U.S. credit union system.

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