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March 18, 2004
Contact: Alana Golden, Public Information Officer
(916) 323-7012 or (916) 322-5966

Department of Financial Institutions Announces Five-Year Re-Accreditation by National Association of State Credit Union Supervisors

Sacramento- California's Commissioner for Financial Institutions Howard Gould today announced that the Credit Union Division of the California Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) has earned five-year re-accreditation by the National Association of State Credit Union Supervisors (NASCUS).

"DFI is proud to have earned the prestigious status of re-accredited State Credit Union Supervisory Agency," said Commissioner Gould. "California is one of 27 states to hold this prestigious certification," added Gould.

The DFI Credit Union Division is the regulatory authority of the California agency responsible for the examination and supervision of California's 216 state-chartered credit unions. Under the leadership of DFI Deputy Commissioner for Credit Unions, Elizabeth ("Beth") Dooley, the Credit Union Division is responsible for ensuring the integrity and stability of state-chartered credit unions.

"NASCUS accreditation is a noteworthy designation and a well-deserved tribute to the hard work and professionalism of division managers, supervisors, and examination staff," said Deputy Commissioner Dooley. "DFI and the Credit Union Division are privileged to have earned this designation from NASCUS."

DFI supervises more than $55 billion in total credit union assets, making it the state credit union regulatory agency with the largest total assets under supervision.

NASCUS represents all 48 state and territorial credit union supervisors and the NASCUS Credit Union Council, which is made up of nearly 800 of the nation's more than 4,300 state-chartered credit unions.

NASCUS Chairman Roger Little of Michigan announced the DFI's re-accreditation during the 26th Annual NCUA/NASCUS Regulators' Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah on Friday.

To earn NASCUS accreditation, an agency must meet or exceed performance standards in each of the following six areas: Department Administration and Finance; Personnel; Training; Examination and Supervision; and Legislative Powers. The agency's qualifications and review team findings are audited by an Accreditation Audit Working Group and the NASCUS Performance Standards Committee (PSC), which makes the final recommendation for approval to the NASCUS Board of Directors. NASCUS accredited states supervise nearly 80 percent of all state-chartered credit union assets.

As part of the announcement by NASCUS, it was noted by Performance Standards Committee Chairman Harold Feeney of Texas that "The Credit Union Division of the California DFI has successfully demonstrated to the Committee that its program is of high quality and in conformance with all accreditation standards."

Accreditation is valid for a five-year period, subject to annual review. The annual review process enables the accredited agency and the Performance Standards Committee to measure progress and improvement, and in some cases, identify where weaknesses may be beginning to develop.

NASCUS Chairman Roger Little stated, "The Accreditation Review Team, Accreditation Audit Working Group, and Performance Standards Committee have determined conclusively that the Credit Union Division of the Department of Financial Institutions meets the high standards of excellence required for accreditation as a state supervisory agency. The more than five and one-half million Californians who are members of state-chartered credit unions can be confident that they are part of a system that is well-regulated and well-supervised."

DFI supervises over 650 financial institutions, including 216 credit unions and 204 commercial, community and industrial banks. The Department is responsible for administering state laws regulating state-licensed financial institutions: banks, credit unions, industrial banks, savings associations, trust companies, offices of foreign banks, issuers of travelers checks and payment instruments (money orders), and transmitters of money abroad. The Department reports to Sunne Wright McPeak, Secretary of the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.