Monday, March 10, 2014

CLF Transparency, NOT!

I have been stonewalled by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) regarding two Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for information about the Central Liquidity Facility (CLF).

The first FOIA was seeking a white paper submitted to Congress with recommendations to reform the CLF. Specifically, the Office of General Counsel’s 2013 Regulation Review states “NCUA prepared and submitted to Congress a whitepaper outlining certain recommendations for statutory changes that will enable CLF to move forward as a meaningful resource for the industry.”

The response from NCUA to this request was "[w]e have no responsive records." In other words, the agency cannot find the document, which it acknowledges was prepared and submitted to Congress. I guess NCUA deleted the whitepaper after it was sent to Congress.

The second FOIA request was seeking transactional information regarding credit union borrowings from the Central Liquidity Facility through the Credit Union System Investment Program (CU SIP) and the Credit Union Homeowners Affordability Relief Program (CU HARP) between November 1, 2008 and May 15, 2009. The transactional information requested was the name of the credit union, the amount borrowed, the interest rate on the borrowing, date of the borrowing, and whether the borrowing is associated with CU SIP or CU HARP.

NCUA denied my request in full. NCUA stated that "[t]he withheld information qualifies for protection under FOIA exemption 5 U.S.C. Sec.552(b)(8), protecting matters from disclosure that are contained in or related to examinations, operating, or condition reports prepared by, on behalf of, or for the use of an agency responsible for the regulation or supervision of inancial institutions."

NCUA did throw me a bone by providing aggregate information regarding CU borrowings under CU SIP and CU HARP (see below and click image to enlarge).

My request is similar to the request from Bloomberg for information about banks and other financial institutions that had borrowed from the Federal Reserve discount window during the financial crisis. Bloomberg's FOIA request was denied. However, Bloomberg sued the Federal Reserve and the Federal Reserve was required to release the data.

In addition, I do not know how these borrowings from the CLF had anything to do with examinations, operating, or condition reports of the natural person credit unions. The funds borrowed from the CLF under these two programs were required to be deposited into two floundering corporate credit unions that ultimately failed and were guaranteed in full.

This is just another example of NCUA abusing the exemptions under FOIA to deny the public access to relevant information.


  1. Transparency is the most overused word and the biggest lie in Washington. I've been trying to find updated information on the corporate credit unions' legacy asset valuations and have found none even though Queen Debbie insists they're on NCUA's website.

  2. What is the point of your post?
    Is it that in addition to the 18B that NCUA borrowed from us treasury they actually borrowed another (close to) 8B thru sip and harp?
    What are you driving at here?



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