Spring scrub your credit union’s compliance effort

Spring is officially upon us, so naturally I’ve been doing some “seasonal” cleaning around my house.

It’s refreshing to open the windows and let the spring air in. It’s also nice to spend some time after work, or on an otherwise lazy Saturday, doing a deep clean. Beyond the normal picking up, I’ve scrubbed the refrigerator, cleaned out cabinets and dusted – everything.

It may also be a good time for some spring cleaning at your credit union.

I’m not suggesting you spend your already limited time scrubbing the break room refrigerator. But what about cleaning and organizing your documents, disclosures, folders and files? Has a little winter dust gathered?

Using risk as a method for prioritizing, the first thing I would suggest you “dust off” are the forms employees have at their desks. People tend to find little tricks that make their jobs easier. One of those is pre-printing a stack of standard documents so they are at-the-ready when members need them. This isn’t necessarily an issue, as long as all employees are providing members with the most current copies. But, when forms are updated, are your efficient colleagues reprinting that handy stack? This may be a great time to speak with employees to ensure that they are providing only the most current version of documents.

The next area I would focus on would be lobby signage. There haven’t been many significant regulatory updates in this particular area, so unless you’ve changed your Funds Availability policy or another process, there’s unlikely to be much updating required. However, it would be a good idea to check the addresses on any signage that lists a regulatory contact. Check that Share Insurance logos are posted in all locations where deposits are accepted and that Patriot Act notices are easily visible to anyone opening an account.

Another area of regulatory significance that may benefit from a good scrub is your credit union’s record retention and destruction processes. I’ve found many credit unions do an excellent job of retaining required documentation per regulatory requirements.If there is an opportunity for improvement, it is typically in record destruction. That’s because credit unions are often apprehensive about destroying a document that might prove valuable somewhere down the road. I understand that thought process to a point. However, this may be a good time to ensure the record retention process at your credit union is appropriate on both ends of the spectrum.

Now for the biggest spring cleaning job of them all – cleaning and organizing the folders on your computer. If you’ve been saving information that should be in a member’s file, make sure a copy has been saved in the correct location. Delete the duplicate that is taking up space on your hard drive.

While you’re at it, I’d suggest organizing your email and deleting unnecessary information. If there is important member information in your inbox, save it in the appropriate file and delete it from your computer. You’ll be surprised how efficient you’ll feel when you can quickly locate important emails by reducing the number of irrelevant or outdated messages. Best of all, you’re helping to keep member information safe and secure, should your computer be damaged or stolen.

Completing these tasks doesn’t have to happen in a day. After all, it’s called spring cleaning… and spring constitutes several months on the calendar. But, once you’ve completed them, you’ll feel much more comfortable transitioning into summer. I can’t promise it will feel as good as climbing into bed with clean sheets, but it may make your 8 to 5 a little smoother.

Brian Godwin

Brian Godwin

Brian D. Godwin serves as Director of Regulatory Compliance for PolicyWorks. He is responsible for overseeing the delivery of PolicyWorks compliance consulting and review services to credit union clients, managing ... Web: www.policyworksllc.com Details