NCUA Needs to Expedite Credit Union Options for Consumers
During the past 18 months, thousands of consumers across the nation have joined the American Consumer Council and its 46 state consumer councils because they want to take advantage of our financial education programs which we host with partnering credit unions. Consumers are also looking for personalized financial services such as low-interest home loans, college loans and chip-and-pin credit cards which several credit unions offer.
But, there’s a problem.
The problem is the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) and its Office of Consumer Protection (OCP) has been very slow to approve several credit union applications that will allow them to enlist members of our state consumer councils. Some of these credit union applications have been pending for more than a year. While we understand the approval process takes time, it should not take months and months — not when consumers are clamoring for more financial services options.
Eight credit unions are awaiting a response from the OCP on the status of their pending SEG applications. Several credit union executives tell us that they were promised status reports or approval letters from the NCUA-OCP over six months ago. But, to date, they have received nothing.
At the American Consumer Council’s annual business meeting in San Diego last week, more than 300 consumer-members asked ACC to encourage the NCUA-OCP to clear-up the backlog of association SEG applications so credit union that have been awaiting a decision to add a state consumer council as a SEG can move forward.
Swift action by OCP will also allow organizations like ACC’s state consumer councils to refer more of its consumer-members to local credit unions through our state consumer council network.
We’re calling on the NCUA’s Office of Consumer Protection to move more quickly and help thousands of consumers — many of whom have been waiting for over a year for the NCUA-OCP to make a decision — get the financial services they need.