Take a Holistic Approach to Compliance

By Jim Jerving

CU can’t have separate compliance approaches for different products.

As the discipline of compliance discipline continues to evolve in financial institutions, enterprise compliance management will become increasingly necessary, according to two compliance experts: CUNA Mutual Group’s Bill Klewin, director of regulatory compliance, and Lauren Calhoun, compliance manager.

The organization and all of its moving parts must be considered in managing compliance, especially at the consumer level.

Credit unions can’t have separate compliance approaches for mortgages, credit cards, and other loans. “They are now all inter-related,” says Klewin. “If you divide up responsibilities you’ll get inconsistencies.”

The staff member responsible for compliance shouldn’t report to the vice president of lending, he says, because that constitutes an inherent conflict of interest. Klewin compares the compliance officer to an internal auditor or general counsel—someone who looks out for the best interests of all departments in the organization.

New regulations will continue to challenge credit unions, sometimes at an overwhelming pace, he adds. The key is to be prepared—and careful.

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