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Planning Yet for 2017?
Thursday, May 12, 2016 6:35 AM

Steve Gibbs, AVP Shared Compliance, Credit Union Resources

Planning! Have you started looking toward 2017? If we’ve learned anything in the compliance field, it's “forewarned is forearmed.” Credit unions can look forward to another avalanche of rules and directives from regulatory agencies.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has continued to make changes to mortgage lending rules and the documentation covering those loans. Fair Lending examinations are becoming more commonplace, and NCUA (as well as state agencies) wants to see some internal (or independent) assessment of each organization’s lending program.

Cybersecurity is another area which demands attention by management as well as some outside guidance. The Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) continue to be at the top of most agendas due to the continued rise in terrorist groups, as well as business and political corruption. What can you do to stay on top of this?

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Go to the regulatory websites. You should have the NCUA (ncua.gov) and the CFPB (consumerfinance.gov) saved as favorites. You can also check Bankers Online (bankersonline.com).
  • Take advantage of available resources. Your trade association offers free guidance (Information Central) and produces a newsletter of weekly state and federal regulatory updates each week.
  • Available training through a variety of organizations not only offers seminars and conferences, but is making webinars, CDs and DVDs easily attainable. Additionally, you can outsource to Shared Compliance Resources to meet the greater needs.

As individuals in the compliance game, you have other options:

  • Compliance certification. Compliance and BSA certifications are offered through CUNA.
  • Read. Industry magazines, websites, blogs, etc. Half the battle is know what’s coming and, unless you read, changes will be past you before you’re prepared.
  • Don’t be afraid to use the internet, which can yield reams of information from a variety of sources. But please be cautious and check those sources before using the information.
  • Open a dialogue with your examiner(s). Develop a relationship with that person so you can call and ask for periodic updates of regulators’ agendas.
  • Appoint dedicated compliance staff. Even small credit unions should have someone designated to handle compliance issues. The larger the credit union, the more sophisticated the staff.
  • Consider outsourcing. It’s far easier to have someone bring you the information than having to root it out yourself.

Remember not to panic. We’ve handled regulatory changes before and must all keep our heads. Learn as much as possible, monitor regulatory websites for changes, and stay in contact with each other and our industry protectors.