NCUA Inspector General Auditing CU Chartering Process


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IG wants to know if streamlining is working.

The NCUA’s Inspector General is conducting an audit to determine if the agency’s efforts to streamline the chartering process have made the process more efficient and effective, the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) said last week.

As part of that probe, the OIG will explore whether the agency has done an effective job of communicating changes to that process, according to the office’s semi-annual report.

The report provides details of the office’s work during the past six months, as well as audits the office intends to conduct during the next six months.

NCUA Streamlining Charter Process

Earlier this year, the NCUA approved a proposed rule intended to streamline the chartering process and to clarify several issues.

In June, NCUA Chairman Todd Harper touted the agency’s efforts and said that the Office of Credit Union Resources and Expansion had reduced the time to review and approve a complete application to about 130 days.

In the past, groups seeking to form a credit union have complained about the lengthy process involved in the effort.

Harper and other board members also said in June that the NCUA was developing a provisional charter pilot program that would allow groups to demonstrate their capacity to start a credit union, which would help their efforts to raise capital. Under current rules, groups must first raise the necessary capital and then seek to obtain a charter. Groups obtaining the provisional charter have 12 months to raise the capital needed.

When asked about the status of the program, an NCUA spokesperson said Monday that the provisional charter program remains in the pilot phase.

Other IG Probes

In addition to the chartering audit, OIG officials said they intend to evaluate whether the NCUA sets aside an adequate number of hours to conduct credit union safety and soundness examination.

In the report, the office noted that data released by the FDIC indicates that the agency schedules far more examination hours for banks than the NCUA does for similarly sized credit unions.

The OIG said that the audit is intended to examine the NCUA’s effectiveness in scheduling examination hours and whether the agency is ensuring that proper regulatory safeguards are in place.

On another hot issue, OIG said it is examining whether the NCUA adequately reviews compliance with the Bank Secrecy Act during safety and soundness examinations That audit will include details about how the agency follows up on BSA violations and if officials refer significant BSA violations to the Treasury Department, which oversees BSA enforcement.


  • David Baumann

    David Baumann established and edited the Washington Credit Union Daily website before it was put on hiatus while he served as the editor of the regulatory and legislative blog at CUCollaborate. Before starting Washington Credit Union Daily, David was the Washington correspondent for the Credit Union Times. A veteran Washington reporter, he has spent his career writing and editing for many of the capital’s leading publications, including CongressDaily, National Journal magazine and Congressional Quarterly Weekly. He was part of a team that won a 2005 National Headliner Award for a special issue of National Journal on “The State of Congress.” He holds a B.A. in political science from The George Washington University and an M.A. in journalism from Indiana University.

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