NeighborBench’s Agle: Understanding the Three Elements of Risk Provides Options for Credit Unions

FREDERICK, MD (June 28, 2013) Before a credit union can generate a plan for effectively handling risk, it must first consider three risk elements: event, causes, and impacts, said Ken Agle, a principal of NeighborBench.

Agle presented his remarks to a group of 36 credit unions in the greater Washington, D.C. area, at the 2013 Annual Meeting and Convention of the Maryland and District of Columbia Credit Union Association in Ocean City, Maryland. The Association has partnered with NeighborBench, a provider of advanced compliance solutions, to help its affiliated credit unions simplify compliance.

Agle likened the three elements of handling risk to the three elements of the fire triangle: fuel, air and ignition.

“As with the fire triangle, where removing one of the three elements prevents or extinguishes the fire, identifying the three elements of risk provides a credit union with three options for treating it. By acting on one of the elements, you can affect the risk,” said Agle.

Agle led the group through an exercise of identifying the three elements of risk where the event was a river rising to dangerous levels in an area where a credit union had many offices. The group assessed the identified causes along with their possible prevention strategies, as well as the impacts and their possible mitigation and recovery strategies.

“While it may not be possible to prevent the river from flooding, we can assess strategies for how to minimize damage to our offices and, more importantly, prevent it from harming our staff and our members. In addition, after the event, we can assess our options for reestablishing communications with our members and restoring services as quickly as possible,” Agle said.

“It takes a certain degree of humility to acknowledge that significant events are possible even for your credit union,” Agle said. “But by going through the exercise of a full enterprise risk assessment and analyzing the potential causes and impacts are fundamental steps to keeping your credit union grounded.”

Headquartered in Frederick, Maryland, NeighborBench offers services to help credit unions reduce some of the challenges of compliance including cost, time and resource requirements.

The Maryland and District of Columbia Credit Union Association (MDDCCUA), the premier regional trade association for credit unions in the state of Maryland and the District of Columbia, offers the NeighborBench platform as a service to MDDCCUA member credit unions.

More details about NeighborBench’s unique compliance solutions and more information about Enterprise Risk can be found at

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