Good Governance: The sophisticated art of ensuring your board grows alongside your credit union

Four areas to focus on

Whenever we interview credit union directors or senior leadership and ask about strategic priorities, we hear them talk about some version of growth—asset growth, membership growth, loan growth, SEG expansion, and the list goes on. We rarely hear about growth as it relates to the board.

As credit unions continue to grow operationally, boards just seem to be along for the ride. Some are keeping up, but many are not.

Would you hire the same CFO or director of finance for a $5 billion credit union as you would for one with $5 million in assets? Of course not. You know that as your credit union grows operationally, your staff must have the experience and expertise to do their part with excellence. So too, must your board.

One of the situations that should prompt an assessment of your credit union’s governance is growth itself. As your credit union’s assets crest $1 billion, $5 billion and especially $10 billion, regulatory requirements change, the complexities of your institution’s financial structures will increase, and your board will be challenged to govern quite differently than it once did when your institution was smaller.


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