November 1, 2021



​In September 2021, the Office of Credit Unions (OCU) transitioned to new examination software, MERIT (Modern Examination & Risk Identification Tool). The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) issued a related Letter to Credit Unions No. 21-CU-08 in August 2021, Implementation of Modernized Systems – NCUA Operations/Activities. All Wisconsin credit unions should read this letter for specific details on MERIT as well as other updates to NCUA’s technology modernization efforts. 

With the adoption of MERIT, the OCU is making changes to the exam process and is providing some additional tips: 

  • When an examination is scheduled, an email will be sent to the President/CEO. The email will include a notice of examination letter that outlines specific details for the exam, key dates, contacts including the examiner in charge (EIC); a request form for ShareFile data portal users; and questionnaires including the Wisconsin Consumer Act and OCU Management questionnaire. In addition, a detailed document request list will be provided. 
  • The OCU is currently using a hybrid exam model that consists of examiners working offsite and onsite. The EIC will collaborate with management to determine the format that will work best. Please have a discussion with the EIC regarding the specifics of your examination as soon as possible, so that examiners can be notified of their assignment and make related accommodations. 
  • Please complete the ShareFile data portal contact form and return it as soon as possible. Office staff will set up the requested users on the portal so the upload of exam documents can begin. We ask that you upload documents as soon as possible. It is helpful to have access to exam documents in advance of the start date of the exam. A short list is included in the notice of examination letter. 
  • Your cooperation in providing all the requested exam documents is appreciated. Per section 186.235 (16) of the Wisconsin Statutes, “…the office of credit unions shall have full access to, and may compel the production of, each credit union’s records and accounts…”
  • ​It is suggested that all credit unions create an account with NCUA in NCUA Connect. This central user interface is the primary entry-point to access MERIT, DEXA, and the Admin Portal. Information is included in NCUA Letter to Credit Unions No. 21-CU-08. 
  • ​DEXA is a separate application in which credit unions will upload the member loan and share data. DEXA utilizes the same data schema outlined in NCUA Letter to Credit UnionsNo. 03-CU-05, Expanded AIRES Loan and Share Record Layout. In addition, the NCUA Data Exchange Application (DEXA) User Guide will be provided with the initial email. 
  • ​​The examination report will look different: 
    • Examiner Findings will now be used in addition to Supplementary Facts. Examiner Findings will be tracked in MERIT and credit unions will have the ability to respond to findings in the MERIT system. 
    • Many exam schedules will no longer be included in the final report. 

OCU examiners will be using MERIT for all examinations. AIRES is available for use for a short time but will be discontinued. Please have patience as we transition to new exam software. Examiners have had formal training and continue to learn and collaborate to utilize the system. They will do their best to work with credit union staff and management during the examination process. We have recommended that the EIC touch base with management daily about the exam and any issues or questions you may have during the exam process. Exams work best when there is open communication. 

There are resources if you have questions: 

  • Office of Credit Unions: dfi-ocu@dfi.wisconsin.gov or contact your examiner-in-charge or supervisory examiner 
  • See Training section of NCUA Letter to Credit Unions No. 21-CU-08 
  • NCUA Office of Business Innovation: BIMail@ncua.gov 
  • NCUA Office of Credit Union Resources and Expansion: CUREMail@ncua.gov 

The OCU appreciates your cooperation in the exam process. We want to ensure that the exam is helpful for your credit union in complying with chapter 186 of the Wisconsin Statutes and all relevant rules and regulations and in providing a safe and sound financial institution for your members. 

If you have any questions, please reach out to the OCU at dfi-ocu@dfi.wisconsin.gov or (608) 261-9543.


Kim Santos 

Kim Santos, Director