Office of Credit Union (OCU) Standards and Appeals

OCU is entrusted with the responsibility to provide regulatory oversight of the public interest and ensure consumer confidence in the credit union industry under the Michigan Credit Union Act (MCUA), P.A.215 of 2003 as amended MCL 490.101 et seq. The public interest is defined as the collective well-being of the community of people and entities OCU serves. As agents of the Director of the Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS), OCU staff is charged with maintaining integrity, objectivity, and independence in discharging their professional responsibilities.

 

The following represents the staff, supervisory program and examination standards Michigan credit unions can expect of OCU staff in the performance of those duties as outlined within the MCUA, Civil Service Rules or OCU Policies.

 

Michigan credit union industry participants are encouraged to hold the OCU program to these standards and communicate any instances where they believe they have not been met. Specific instances should be discussed thoroughly with individuals at the appropriate level of OCU's chain, depending on the circumstance. Unprofessional or unfair treatment by OCU staff will not be tolerated and should be immediately brought to the attention of supervisors.

 

Differences regarding examination findings should be thoroughly discussed with the examiner-in-charge during the examination process. If the issue is not resolved at that level, further discussions should take place with the regional supervisor or the Assistant Director. For differences that exist after the finalized examination report has been received, management may submit a response outlining the factual and legal basis for its position on examination findings. Direct correspondence appealing the examination report and requesting independent review and formal OCU response to management concerns regarding examination findings or ratings may also be submitted to the Director of OCU, Senior Deputy Director of DIFS or Director of DIFS.

 

1. OCU Staff:

  • Examiners will maintain objectivity and independence in the discharge of their professional responsibilities.
  • Examiners will maintain the highest professional standards relative to effort, integrity, and performance of their duties.
  • Supervising staff including the Regional Supervisor, the Assistant Director, and Director of OCU and the Senior Deputy Director of DIFS, will be available for open dialogue regarding the inherent risks present in institutional activities, the adequacy of related risk management and the application of regulations.

 

2. OCU Supervisory Objectives:

  • Within regulatory requirements, safeguard industry assets with appropriate controls and management systems without attempting to completely eliminate risk.
  • Foster strong communication channels between OCU and the regulated institutions to efficiently identify and address regulatory concerns.
  • Fair and consistent administrative actions based on facts and regulatory concerns/authority which have been clearly communicated to credit union management.
  • Providing a clear, independent appeal process implemented through the OCU chain of command without fear of retaliation by regulated entities.

 

3. OCU Examination Process:

  • A lead examiner will be designated as the Examiner-In-Charge at each examination to act as a central point of contact with the management team.
  • Examiners will provide an independent evaluation based on the institution's strengths and weaknesses and not solely on the basis of trends.
  • Examiners will evaluate institutional progress toward realistic and achievable objectives proportionate to the risk presented.
  • Examiners will provide an opportunity for management to question, provide additional data or alternative findings relative to the regulatory concerns identified during the examination process.
  • Examiners will meet with credit union management for a field exit meeting to discuss findings, conclusions, directives and administrative actions prior to final issuance.
  • Examiners will acknowledge credit union management team requests for the presence of legal counsel or other professional experts during meetings with regulatory personnel.
  • Examiners will present management with timely, clearly written examination reports, notices, etc. based on relevant facts.
  • Reports will provide prioritized findings and directives.
  • Supervisory directives will provide the basis of regulatory authority and expected applications.
  • Examiner evaluation of the development and implementation of policies to meet directorate responsibilities will recognize they are separate and distinct from detailed procedures.