MERIT exam platform to roll out as early as fall 2020, federal credit union regulator says

A milestone in the agency’s effort to modernize its credit union examination program will be reached as early as the fall of 2020 with the roll-out of a new Modern Examination and Risk Identification Tool (MERIT), the chairman of the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Board told a credit union state regulators’ group meeting Wednesday in San Francisco.

Rodney Hood, installed as the federal agency’s chairman in April, made his remarks while reporting on progress of an NCUA-state regulators working group, launched Jan. 1, in testing out various approaches to federal-state cooperation in the examination of federally insured, state-chartered credit unions. (The group includes representatives from Iowa, Oklahoma, Texas, Tennessee, Georgia, and Wisconsin.)

MERIT, part of the NCUA’s enterprise-wide systems update, will initially replace the agency’s current exam platform (the Automated Integrated Regulatory Examination System, or AIRES) and be used by credit unions to interact and share information with examiners, according to information on the agency’s website. This information explains that, through MERIT, credit unions will be able to securely exchange documents with examiners (including accessing exam reports) and will receive user notifications when it’s time to send or retrieve documents.

Hood, during his speech, said members of the NCUA-state regulators working group are cataloguing exam procedures of the NCUA and state regulators to develop best practices; and will, among other things, provide “a significant level of joint resources devoted to the development and rollout of the new MERIT examination and risk identification tool.”

The MERIT platform is touched on in the NCUA’s fourth-quarter NCUA Report, in a section discussing the agency’s enterprise solution modernization program. The agency also outlined exam modernization efforts in a letter to credit unions last August.

NCUA Chairman Rodney E. Hood Remarks before the NASCUS State System Summit (Aug. 14, 2019)

The NCUA Report (4th Quarter 2018)

RR: In first letter to CUs of year, regulator outlines exam/supervision initiatives (Aug. 6, 2018)