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ICBA Criticizes NCUA Disclosures for Credit Union Conversions

Washington, D.C. (January 14, 2005) - The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) criticized today new disclosure and voting requirements approved by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) for credit union conversions.

"These disclosure and voting requirements are just another attempt to obstruct the right of a credit union to convert to a mutual savings bank charter," said Camden R. Fine, ICBA president and chief executive officer. "They are so misleading and slanted that one can only assume that NCUA is trying to discourage credit union members from ever voting for a conversion."

NCUA's final rule would require that converting credit unions include a four-part disclosure statement with every written communication to a member concerning the conversion and that an independent entity conduct a conversion vote.

In a comment letter to the NCUA when the rule was proposed, ICBA said NCUA exceeded its statutory authority under the Credit Union Membership Access Act (CUMAA) and violated CUMAA's requirement that the rules be no more restrictive than those for charter conversions by other financial institutions. ICBA suggested that the NCUA focus on improving the transparency and quality of the disclosures routinely given by federal credit unions and that credit unions be required to file a Form 990 like other not-for-profit organizations, disclosing the compensation of their highest-paid senior managers.