Vendor Management Program Helps Credit Unions Focus on Strengths

Credit unions are busier than ever dealing with a new regulatory environment and serving members with high expectations. This causes tasks that may seem less important to get pushed to the back as “as-time-allows” projects. For many credit union professionals, these back-burnered projects often relate to vendor management.

According to Paragon Consulting Group, a Credit Union Service Organization (CUSO) owned by TwinStar Credit Union in Lacy, Wash., maintaining a strong compliance program is an evolving and complex process. Ignoring any aspect of it can be a dangerous regulatory proposition.

“Bank and credit union regulators are watching this industry very closely,” said Paragon Vice President Sue Girsch. “Outsourcing this side of credit union operations can be the easiest, best decision a financial institution can make in order to maintain compliance and good standing.”

One story she tells that illustrates the problem is when she asked an examiner if there was anything in particular on which to advise credit unions.

“He gave me one answer, and he was serious when he said, ‘Tell them they need to open up the envelopes they receive from the vendors,’” she said. “They didn’t even have time to open letters.”

Paragon’s Vendor Management Program has a dedicated person doing all of the legwork and a software platform that allows its experts to contact vendors and to gather and review company information for documentation and risk assessment.

Paragon clients are beneficiaries of a unique solution: they don’t receive canned due diligence reports with generic recommendations. Paragon researches and reviews on an annual basis all vendors doing business with their partners and then analyzes the partnerships’ effectiveness.

“No vendor is a a panacea for all financial institutions,” says Girsch. “We get all of the latest SEC data on rulings and lawsuits so our partners have the latest vendor information.”

Ignoring the vendor management area of operations in the current regulatory environment can be dangerous path to tread. Consider outsourcing as a means to stay compliant.

 

Interested in Learning More?

In today’s rapidly changing financial services climate, credit unions are finding they must be able to rely upon the leadership skills of their elected officials. The NWCUA’s 2012 Volunteers’ Conference prepares credit union volunteers to work efficiently, make informed decisions and improve credit union performance by understanding key issues that are impacting the industry. This regionally unique event offers national-quality learning for both new and experienced volunteers, with the valued convenience of a regional location.

Learn more about the Paragon Group and its role in leading several Volunteers’ Conference sessions, and find registration information for the conference on the NWCUA’s website.

 

Questions? Comments? Contact Anthem editor Matt Halvorson: mhalvorson@nwcua.org.

Posted in Compliance.