Mergers, NCUA and Succession: Roundtable Results in Lively Discussion

Credit union volunteers helped open the 2011 Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA) Convention and Annual Business Meeting with an open roundtable session on key issues facing boards of directors. Facilitated by Independence, Mo., consultant Rory Rowland, directors listed board composition, National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) compliance and mergers as their key concerns.

Encouraging board turnover and enlisting new ideas by recruiting younger members were of universal interest. Term limits were cited as one strategy some credit unions have employed, but it was pointed out that directors need to be prepared for the “emotional fallout” that often comes from veteran directors who are subsequently termed out of office.

Increasing pressure from NCUA regulators brought lively debate as the volunteers noted the “helpless feeling” that a constant barrage of regulation and examination demands have had on credit union employees. One director summed up the discussion well by saying that while NCUA is tightening the screws on seemingly continuous examinations, “they were not doing their job in examining the corporates, and we are now all paying for that.”

The final topic of mergers highlighted two themes. The importance of having a merger philosophy and policy was noted as critical in evaluating a credit union’s future. Additionally, growing compliance burdens, not safety, soundness or growth objectives, are now the leading impetus for forcing merger talks. As one director put it, “You have been running the race so hard that you are just too pooped to finish.”


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Posted in Compliance News, MAXX Annual Convention, NCUA.