Wednesday, September 7, 2011

IG Report: Ethic Breaches Played a Role in Certified FCU's Failure

The Inspector General (IG) found that Certified FCU failed because of weak internal controls, weak board oversight, and inadequate risk management practices. The failure of Certified FCU resulted in a loss of $9 million for the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund.

The IG report found that improprieties and fraud played a major role in the credit unions failure. According to the IG report, allegations of fraud and improprieties first surfaced through anonymous telephone calls to the NCUA in April and May of 2005. However, a 2005 investigation by NCUA found no evidence to substantiate the fraud allegations, although they determined the CEO had abused his position to enrich himself personally at the credit union’s expense and potentially engaged in money laundering. The report notes that NCUA officials failed to take decisive action about these ethical breaches and the CEO stayed in his position until May 2010.

A 2010 forensic review found evidence that there was a breach in the fiduciary duties by the CEO, including check kiting and receiving "potential kick backs from vendors and from loan origination fees and commissions paid to one of the Credit Union’s loan officers."

For example,

"The CEO had a consulting company, which contracted for a 20 percent share of commissions paid to the loan officer’s mortgage servicing business. The loan officer generated low quality loans with high origination fees, which were then approved by the CEO. The loan origination fees were paid by Certified in the form of commissions to the loan officer’s company, which then paid the CEO’s consulting business its 20 percent share."

Additionally, the report notes that the credit union failed to manage liquidity risk. High cost nonmember deposits, which I've previously written about with respect to other credit union failures, rose to 18 percent of total deposits increased the liquidity problems confronting the credit union, especially given its heavy concentration of fixed rate real estate loans.

Additionally, the IG report found that NCUA examiners failed to:

1. adequately assess the management component of CAMEL rating system;

2. adequately consider external audit findings and reviews when developing their examination procedures; and

3. appropriately apply remedies when their fraud investigation unearthed serious safety and soundness concerns due to the CEO’s business practices and ethical behavior.

Read the IG Report.

1 comment:

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    Required reading for the media.



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