Want to lead? Don’t ignore compliance

by Anthony Demangone

A few weeks ago, I addressed a group of credit union professionals at NAFCU’s Management and Leadership Institute.  Each professional was trying to push themselves in their careers. There was a good deal of internal soul searching.

Where am I strong? Where am I weak?  Where must I improve?

The week hammered away at leadership.  No problem there.  The week hammered away at finance and accounting basics.  A few groans were heard. And I took some time to hammer away at how to manage compliance risk.  As I walked toward the front of the room, I could see fear in the eyes of the audience.

Seventy-five minutes.  On compliance.  Ugh.

If you want to move up, you need to get over that, my friends.  Just as a great credit union leader must be able to navigate a balance sheet, he or she must be able to manage compliance risk. Here are four reasons why.

1.      Life has rules. We are a highly regulated industry.  Get over it. There are rules for everything.  And those rules must be followed.  A strong compliance risk management program keeps your credit union on the straight and narrow path.  The work is not easy, but it is rewarding.

2.      Compliance is insurance. You’ve heard this before: You can pay me now, or you can really pay me later. If you think a good compliance officer is expensive, just try complying with a Letter of Understanding and Agreement from NCUA.

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