Metsger: credit union directors are the system’s ‘first line of defense’

Internal fraud is a continuing problem, especially at small CUs.

Credit union board members who are informed and engaged help protect their credit unions, members—and the credit union system as a whole, NCUA Board Vice Chairman Rick Metsger said last week during the National Directors Roundtable Conference in San Diego.

Covering subjects ranging from regulatory relief and risk-based capital rule to credit unions’ advantages for consumers, Metsger stressed one area in particular: internal fraud.

“You are the first line of defense,” said Metsger, a former director at Teachers Credit Union in Portland, Ore. “Your job is to know what’s going on, to be engaged, and to ask questions. That’s how you lead your credit union, that’s how you protect it, protect your members, protect the system, and protect the share insurance fund.”

While National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund losses overall have been declining, Metsger said internal fraud is a continuing problem, particularly at smaller credit unions.

“Internal fraud is a major contributor in more than half of the losses to the share insurance fund,” Metsger said, “and it poses a significant reputation risk for credit unions. However, it can be difficult to find, often because credit union boards and supervisory committees are not as strong and active as they should be.”

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