Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Oklahoma State Credit Union Board Raises Rate of Assessment for State-Chartered Credit Unions

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Oklahoma State Credit Union Board Raises Rate of Assessment for State-Chartered Credit Unions

Article excerpt

The Oklahoma State Credit Union Board raised the rate of assessment for larger Oklahoma-chartered credit unions on Tuesday.

Credit unions with assets of $35 million or more will be assessed 19 cents per $1,000, up from the previous assessment rate of 15 cents per $1,000.

I hate to say it, but it looks like we've been eight years on the cheap, and we need to raise fees, said board member Floyd Atha, president and CEO of the Oklahoma Educators Credit Union. The five board members, three of whom head credit unions, voted unanimously.

Banks have been at 19 cents for four, five years now, said Bank Commissioner Mick Thompson. Credit unions, regardless of size, have been assessed at 15 cents for about eight years, he said.

The assessment for credit unions with less than $35 million in assets will remain at its current level of 15 cents per $1,000. That does not make a big difference in the total, but to some little credit unions, it could make a big difference, said Thompson.

In past years, the department had little reason to raise assessment rates, since the revenues collected went into the state's general fund, and the Legislature provided the department's operating revenue. Now that the state Banking Department is self- funded, however, the department is trying to build up a reserve account so that operations can continue despite fluctuations in revenue.

When larger financial institutions stop paying their assessment - usually due to merger, relocation out of state, closure, or restructuring under a national rather than a state charter - the department loses a sizable portion of its funding. The recent loss of just two banks previously under state charter accounted for a $500,000 drop in revenue from assessments, said Thompson.

The department is also waiting to see if the federal government changes mileage rates and how such a change will impact the department's budget. Though recent and anticipated additions of banks to the state charter will replace some of the revenue, a reserve fund would ensure that operations continue smoothly in the event of large, unexpected changes. …

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