NCUA WILL LISTEN TO YOUR APPEALS
This month, I’m beginning a “Listening
Tour” to continue the face-to-face dialog with
credit union officials that began with my
town hall meetings in 2010. If you have ideas
about how we can improve the regulatory
environment or the examination process, I
want to hear from you.
Notice I said how “we” can improve—not
how “NCUA” can improve the process.
NCUA cannot do this alone, and we each have
roles to play. To write more effective
regulations and conduct more constructive
exams, NCUA needs to hear your perspectives.
In past columns, I’ve focused on your important
roles in commenting on proposed regulations
and communicating with examiners.
union officials believe if they appeal, their
examiner will retaliate.
Let me state this as clearly as possible: NCUA
has a zero-tolerance policy to prevent
retaliation. Zero tolerance means if a supervisor
finds that an examiner has retaliated with
unreasonable action against a credit union, that
examiner will face disciplinary action.
NCUA has an open-door policy to hear your
appeals. If you think you have a situation in
need of review, go ahead and knock!
SIX LEVELS FOR HEARING APPEALS
So in this column I’m going to address a
related issue that often goes unspoken: how
to appeal an exam.
How to Appeal an Exam
But first, I need to assure you: If you have a
legitimate complaint about how an exam was
conducted or the outcome, NCUA really does
want to hear from you. Your constructive
comments can help NCUA to create a more
effective examination system. I reiterate, the
complaint must be determined to be
legitimate; that means that the credit union
received a rating or an administrative action
that could not be justified by the facts.
Yet, the lines of communication sometimes
break down in the examination process.
NCUA encourages credit union management
to provide ongoing feedback during the
exam, and to work with examiners to resolve
issues before the final report is written.
After an exam, some credit union officials
may simply be unaware of their options. Did
you know that NCUA offers six different
levels to appeal an exam? Did you know that
NCUA also offers a confidential channel to
report on examiners? All of these options are
highlighted in the box to the right. Soon,
NCUA will outline these options on the cover
of every exam report.
But even some credit union officials who are
aware of these options may be reluctant to
appeal. Why? I’m often told that these credit
1. Examiner. The first step is to approach your examiner. Taking this
step can be effective when there is disagreement over the facts,
conclusions, and tone of an exam report.
2. Supervisory Examiner. After speaking to your examiner, you may
contact his or her supervisory examiner, who will evaluate the facts
and review the analysis.
3. Regional Office. You may also send a letter to your NCUA regional
office. Analysts will weigh the facts, and the regional director will
issue a decision in writing.
4. Office of General Counsel. If you have a legal issue regarding your
exam, you may write to the Office of General Counsel at
OGCmail@ncua.gov at any time.
5. Office of Examination and Insurance. If you have a question
about a safety and soundness matter, you may write to the Office of
Examination and Insurance at E&Imail@ncua.gov at any time.
6. Supervisory Review Committee. The most definitive, but least
used, step in the appeals process is to contact NCUA’s Supervisory
Review Committee by mailing or delivering your appeal to: Chairman,
Supervisory Review Committee, NCUA, 1775 Duke Street, Alexandria,
VA 22314-3428. The Supervisory Review Committee is comprised of
three senior NCUA executives, who are unrelated to the exam
program. This committee reconsiders and makes recommendations on
a variety of issues, including CAMEL codes 3 through 5 and Allowance
for Loan and Lease Loss funding determinations.
REPORTING UNPROFESSIONAL BEHAVIOR: If you feel an examiner has
behaved inappropriately, you should immediately call the Office of the
Inspector General at 800-778-4806.
NO RETALIATION: To protect credit unions from reprisals, NCUA has a
zero-tolerance retaliation policy. Examiners may not take action against
a credit union for using any formal or informal appeal channel.