A dispute between the federal and N.C. regulators who oversee credit unions means that all of North Carolina's state-chartered credit unions will now receive two full annual examinations.
Credit union associations decry that decision as burdensome and are pushing for a resolution.
When credit unions are examined, they are given a score known as a CAMEL rating, which looks at its capital, assets, management, earnings and liquidity. Federal credit unions, like Charlotte Metro Credit Union, are examined by the National Credit Union Administration. State-chartered institutions are examined by the N.C. Credit Union Division, which is supported by the NCUA.
In September, the State Employees Credit Union wanted to publicly release its CAMEL rating. Upon advice from the state attorney general's office, the N.C. Credit Union Division gave it authorization to do so.
But while not prohibited by state law, federal rules to prevent credit unions from releasing their examination scores.
"This is an unacceptable release of exempt records," NCUA regional director Herb Yolles wrote in a letter to the CEOs of North Carolina credit unions, dated Jan. 12. The only solution, he said, is for the NCUA to perform independent examinations on North Carolina's state-chartered credit unions.
The N.C. Credit Union League will be holding a special meeting on Wednesday to discuss how to resolve the issue and protect credit unions, league president John Radebaugh said. Examinations require credit unions to expend considerable time and resources.
"It's unacceptable that they have two separate exams now," he said. "It has nothing to do with safety and soundness."
There are 52 state-chartered credit unions that serve 2.1 million people. A number of them are based in Charlotte, including First Legacy Community Credit Union, Carolina Postal Credit Union and Blue Flame Credit Union.