NCUA moves to standardize electronic data collection in exams; OKs final rules on appeals, supervisory committee

Also: Final rules for appealing agency decisions issued

Standardizing the loan, deposit, and investment information collected electronically during examinations was proposed by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Board in a request for information issued Thursday; comments are due Jan. 2, 2018.

In seeking comments on the proposal, the agency board said it wants views about the “interrelated considerations and challenges” that could arise if the agency adopts a new standardized data format for loan, deposit, and investment data.

“The overarching goal of our comprehensive review is to modernize, formalize, and standardize data formats collected during examinations from the core data processing and offline systems used by credit unions,” the agency said.

The information collection, NCUA said, is part of its “Enterprise Solution Modernization Program,” a long-term project at the agency to update its technology systems. “Collecting a broader dataset will provide benefits to both the NCUA and credit unions, including a more consistent examination process, a more efficient use of examiner time, reduced burden on credit unions, reduced onsite time, improved data reliability and quality, and enhanced analytics,” the agency said in its rule summary.

The action, agency staff said in a presentation at the board’s meeting Thursday, would also support NCUA’s “Exam Flexibility Initiative,” which (among other things) recommended an extended examination cycle for well-managed, low-risk federal credit unions with assets of less than $1 billion.

NCUA Board Chairman J. Mark McWatters urged the credit union system to comment on the proposal. “Please help us; it seems like a very prudent thing to do,” he said.

In other action, the board approved two final rules related to procedures for appealing agency decisions. Under a final rule on the agency’s supervisory review committee, subjects appealable to the committee are expanded, and credit unions have an option for additional review by the Director of NCUA’s Office of Examination and Insurance (E&I).

Additionally, as pointed out during the board meeting, an oral hearing could be considered by the full NCUA Board – a first for the agency, and (according to NCUA staff) a “trailblazing” move for federal regulators. They asserted that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC), Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and the Federal Reserve “largely rely on written record;” no face time, they said, is provided for financial institutions with the boards or the comptroller.

The final rule on the appeals process is intended to streamline and replace the process for appeals to the NCUA Board for those agency regulations that have existing embedded appeals processes. The procedures would apply in cases in which a decision rendered by a regional director or other program office director is subject to appeal to the board.

Both rules take effect Jan. 1

Final rule: Appeals procedures

Final rule: Supervisory Review Committee