When Words Matter Most

On November 5th, Pomona Postal FCU, founded in 1964, became NCUA’s  fifth conservatorship of 2021.

The Credit Union Times story contained this standard explanation:

The NCUA issued a media release and other information, showing the agency took possession and control of the insured credit union to conserve its assets, protect the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund, and resolve operational problems that could affect the credit union’s safety and soundness.

At September 30,  this $4.2 million credit union reported a net worth of 6.86%–down .01bps from a year earlier; an ROA of .48, delinquency of $33,184 covered by an allowance of $41,000.

The Critical Question

This action raises again the ultimate question, Why?  The $20 billion NCUSIF had to be “protected” from the deprecations of this $4.4 million monster disguised in tiny sheep’s clothing?

Or, as typical of other small credit union seizures, will we learn from court records (years from now) that there has been a long, on-going pattern of misdeeds in this two-employee firm, overlooked in multiple past annual NCUA exams?

Or, perhaps it is just examiner and regional office frustration that their supervision has been unable to stabilize a slowly declining financial picture?

Both options are troubling. The failure of NCUA to be transparent in the use of its most absolute authority is itself a symptom of the real issue.

If NCUA is unable to supervise this credit union speck in the $2.2 trillion system, how can anyone have confidence in their oversight of a $40 or $400 million, let alone a $4.0 billion entity.

The irony of NCUA’s explanation is stunning.  For if true that this $4.4 million was taken over to protect the insurance fund, the greatest danger to the system is not from credit union malfeasance or failures; rather it is NCUA’s incompetence.

It is time for the agency to drop the bureaucratic doublespeak and start giving straight talk about its actions. For the issue is not what happened at Pomona Postal but why the agency feels so compelled to cover up its most important responsibility.



2 Replies to “When Words Matter Most”

  1. The NCUA once again has failed the credit union community. Postal CU was negative in 2018 -$94,000, negative in 2019 -$468,000 and negative in 2020 -$25,000. The members Net Worth at 12-2017 was 18% or $863,000. Now Net Worth is 6.86% or $290,000. Why did the NCUA allow the members Net Worth of$573,000 to be exhausted, depleted and extinguished? The members own Postal. The Net Worth belongs to the membership. . . Is anyone at the NCUA being held to account?

  2. from a reader: I have always thought the ‘Protect the Share Insurance Fund’ as a really flawed definition of a regulator’s role.

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