Rules, regulations, and relationships: How WSECU spreads compliance management across the enterprise

A committee approach allows the Washington cooperative to manage to an appropriate risk level while being a champion for members’ financial well-being.

Every month, a group of senior leaders at WSECU($3.3B, Olympia, WA) gather to review their organization’s appetite for risk, renew its focus on member protection, and break down silos that block the view of how compliance concerns are playing out across the enterprise.

WSECU created its consumer protection compliance committee in early 2014 in the wake of new Dodd-Frank mortgage rules and state examinations. About that time, Wilkes Hardin joined the Evergreen State cooperative as its vice president of lending compliance.

“Our compliance world has become so much more complex in the past 10 years,” Hardin says. “Credit unions aren’t under the radar like we used to be. With the state and NCUA focus on safety and soundness, we’re in the crosshairs of compliance like never before.”

To mount a formal response to the changes, the credit union created the committee to: “ … provide oversight, guidance, and direction with respect to the credit union’s management of compliance, including oversight of the credit union’s compliance with state and federal laws, regulations, rules, interpretations, and regulatory guidance, including implementation of new or changed regulatory requirements, products, services or systems.”


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