Gentile Cited in CU Times Column Questioning the WSJ Report on Credit Union Investment
In a column entitled NCUA, CUs, RBC, IRR and the WSJ, Sarah Snell Cooke, publisher and editor in chief of CU Times questions the motivation for and the research behind a Wall Street Journal piece which raised many questions about credit union investment practices, lending and financial management and did so with scant evidence or direct quotes from named experts. She goes on to report that the NCUA indicates that they did not "pitch" the story to the WSJ.
The WSJ article made unattributed reference to "some credit unions adopting lax standards for Mortgage and home equity loans and lines of credit reminiscent of those leading up to the financial crisis, according to interviews." And followed that with a quote from NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz who was quoted as saying "I am concerned that the message is either not getting through, or it's getting through and they are just choosing not to do anything about it."
Cooke's column cited the fact that credit union policy leading up to the financial crisis is what saved the credit union movement from suffering the same fate as the big banks and investment houses. Those policies, then and now, have focused on portfolio management at the nation's credit unions.
League President Paul Gentile was cited in the piece as lamenting that the quote from Matz was very damaging. The column stated that he pointed out, "the lost income opportunity credit unions would be facing, along with less capital, had they not made longer term loans and investments over the past couple of years."
The CU Times piece concludes by making the connection between the Risk-Based Net Worth proposal with its strong emphasis on strict investment limits and a public effort to make a case for the need to redirect credit union investments.