Magazine article American Banker

Ohio Credit Unions Opposing Plan for State Superregulator

Magazine article American Banker

Ohio Credit Unions Opposing Plan for State Superregulator

Article excerpt

A proposal to combine Ohio's bank, thrift, and credit union agencies into one superregulator has drawn fire from state- chartered credit unions.

The merged divisions would be supervised by a superintendent of financial institutions. Examiners would be cross-trained in all three industries, though lead examiners would be specialists.

The most vocal opponents of the merger and of state funding for it have been Ohio's 322 state-chartered credit unions, which want to maintain their regulatory independence.

The Ohio Credit Union League has organized petition and letter- writing campaigns, said John Florian, manager of government relations.

"Clearly, a major issue for us is how well the examination process is going to go when they try to cross-train bank and thrift regulators," he said.

Some state-chartered credit unions - which pay sales tax in Ohio - may switch to federal charters if the consolidation takes place, costing the state tax revenue, Mr. Florian said.

The Ohio Bankers Association, which is neutral on the issue, would support a merger if it achieved savings for bankers and contributed to the overall effectiveness of the process, said Michael Van Buskirk, executive vice president.

"We have not gotten from the Department of Commerce to date a formal answer to our question on cost savings," he said.

The Ohio League of Financial Institutions, which includes savings and loans and savings banks, wants to see more specifics, said Robert K. …

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