THE WORKS Blog, Credit Union Compliance News & Views

      Will the Monkey Ever Get Off Our Back?

      By Jeremy Smith · May 04, 2017

      I was perusing the credit union web the other day, and I found an interesting article out on It was a summary of a survey done by CU Service Network back in 2016. The survey was given to 60 credit union CEOs whose assets ranged from 30 million to 1.6 billion. These CEOs were asked about their credit unions top issues and burdens. I will give you three guesses on what they said was the top issue…go ahead…

      If you guessed the weather, you were off by just a bit; it was actually compliance. 93% of the CEOs surveyed said they are concerned about meeting all of their compliance requirements. This is just a shot in the dark, but I am guessing this would be a pretty standard response if you asked any other CEO this same question.

      Trust me guys and gals, I get it. It is my job to dive in and dissect this stuff every day, and I have to admit that there are days it seems like a never ending jungle of information. Unfortunately for those of you that feel like you are lost in the jungle, it doesn’t look like that rescue helo is coming anytime soon. But just because the rescue squad might not be coming, doesn’t mean we can’t Bear Grylls our way out of this forest.

      Like any good survivalist, you need to assess your critical needs. You can do that by going through your risk assessment and identifying what your credit union sees as a high risk area(s). These things will always vary based on your risk, size, and complexity. Just like a survivalist, critical needs would differ if you were stuck in the jungle versus out in the middle of the desert. By identifying these high risk areas you are better able to allocate resources, as well as provide your team with a focused goal. You can’t become distracted by thinking about all the other things that could possibly go wrong. There are just some things that are out of our control. By focusing on these core items, you are better able to adapt and react to the other things that get thrown your way. Like another compliance reg jumping on your back.

      As I mentioned above, you can’t control everything that happens. Although it might not feel this way, your regulators understand that too. That is why they came together and updated the Consumer Compliance Rating System. One of the first things they mention is that FIs will be incentivized for self-identifying and addressing compliance issues. This means building a culture of compliance so you can always be vigilant. By sharing the responsibility it allows you to stay protected, and still be able to sleep at night.

      Although we would rather be living it up on a beach somewhere, we unfortunately have been placed in this dense compliance jungle. You are not going to be able to cut down the jungle with one big hack. So just focus on what it is critical and chop a bit at a time. You will learn from each swing, and as you learn you also become more efficient. Pretty soon you will be through the foliage and basking in the sun.