Q&A with lending and compliance leader — A lifetime of insight

Bill Klewin retired from CUNA Mutual Group on Friday, January 9. Recently, Bill sat down with Frank Diekmann and elaborated on his 28 years with CUNA Mutual, most recently as our lending product compliance leader, on lending, compliance and what’s ahead.

Here are the insights and knowledge that he’s shared from the perspective of his life’s work serving the credit union industry…

Frank: Given the length of your career with CUNA Mutual, what strikes you most as you approach the last day on the job in contrast to what you encountered on your first day walking in the door?

Klewin: The sophistication of the issues and the complexity of the credit union business is the greatest change. When I first started at CUNA Mutual, a large credit union was one greater than $10 million in assets. That meant that the kinds of products and services offered by credit unions weren’t anywhere near as diverse, sophisticated, or complicated as they are now. Few credit unions had first mortgage programs, and only a brave few had home equity lines of credit. Share drafts were relatively new products and still controversial in some leaders’ opinions. Most credit unions had only one or two branches and dealt with walk-in traffic, the phone, and the U.S. Postal Service as means of communications.
From a consumer regulatory compliance standpoint, while the credit unions were subject to the rules, compliance was viewed in many circles as a nuisance. I remember one specific situation where a board actually voted that they didn’t need to comply with consumer regulations as they were “not necessary” to protect their members.
Frank: You have held a number of roles while at CUNA Mutual, including some time in the Office of General Counsel. Can you speak to the issue of some of the risks or vulnerabilities that you have seen?


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