NASCUS’ Fortney Presents at MACCU Conference, Gives Remarks During NC Credit Union Commission Meeting

October 14, 2014 NASCUS President and CEO Mary Martha Fortney spoke Thursday in Asheville, N.C., at the Management Association of Carolinas Credit Unions (MACCU) Conference. She was also asked by N.C. Credit Union Division Administrator and NASCUS Board member Rose Conner to give remarks during the N.C. Credit Union Commission meeting.

MACCU, which is geared toward CEOs and senior management teams across the Carolinas, is the new management association derived from the CUES (Credit Union Executives Society) Council in N.C., and the South Carolina Credit Union Management Association (SCCUMA). Fortney gave the keynote speech at the conference. Her presentation, “Credit Union System of the Future,” concentrated on the changing landscape and the consolidation of the industry, as well as changes to the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund and expanding the NCUA Board. She also discussed mitigating the effect of regulatory burden.

“What future do we want for the credit union movement?” Fortney asked.

Fortney gave a brief history of the credit union movement in the U.S., showing how the number of federal and state-chartered credit unions have decreased over the years from a high of 6,815 FCUs and 4,180 FISCUs in 1998 to 4,847 FCUs and 2,959 FISCUs in 2008. Some estimate that there could be less than 4,000 federally-insured credit unions by 2025.

While the number of credit unions is decreasing, said Fortney, NASCUS is a big reason to be hopeful for the future. Among the things NASCUS has pushed for is capital reform, beginning in 1998. The Association has also been a leader in enacting member business lending rules; between 1999 and 2004, seven such rules were enacted.

NASCUS has had a significant impact on the federal regulatory landscape for the credit union system. The Association helped to inspire the NCUA expansion of field of membership for federal credit unions in 2002, preserve CUSO flexibility in 2004, meliorate charter conversion rules in 2008, defend state fiduciary duty rules in 2010, and maintain state authority for investment powers, loan participations and derivatives rules between 2013 and the present.

NASCUS has made other strides for the credit union system as well. In 2011, when a misguided FBI interpretation of its statutes threatened to prevent privately insured credit unions from being able to register under the SAFE Act, it was NASCUS that prepared a briefing memo and met with the FBI to reverse the interpretation, clearing the way for privately insured credit unions to register.

NASCUS expects to further improve the regulatory landscape through its advocacy efforts on the new Risk-Based Capital rule.

“So much has changed over the years throughout the credit union system,” Fortney said. “We will continue to see changes, and are optimistic about what the future holds.”

The credit union system of the future may look different, but the mission of NASCUS will not change. NASCUS, said Fortney, will remain THE VOICE of the credit union system, dedicated to defending and advancing a strong state credit union system, as the organization works to reduce the regulatory burden the credit union system faces, bringing together the regulators with the regulated. Dialogue will continue, she said, about such subjects as expanding the NCUA Board, embracing crypto-currencies, securing capital reform, restoring diversity to the dual chartering system, and improving supervisory transparency.

At the Commission meeting, she thanked the involvement over the years of N.C. in NASCUS—in particular Mountain Credit Union CEO Patty Idol, who was elected last month as chair-elect of the NASCUS Credit Union Advisory Council, Roy David High, Jim Blaine, Jerry Jay, Elizabeth “Sis” Hamilton and, most recently, Conner, who was elected last month to a three-year term on the NASCUS Board.

During the meeting, Fortney addressed a number of issues, including NASCUS’ work with NCUA on 12 task forces and working groups focusing on such matters as small credit union exams, AIRES, risk-based capital, MBL and bank-owned life insurance. Other topics Fortney discussed during the meeting included FOM, RBC, securitization, associational common bond requirements, 1/3 rule review and fixed assets and, finally, the NCUA CUSO registry.


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