Filed under: Current Issues in Credit Unions
This month, Hal, Guy, Katherine & Rob bring you the following:
–CFPB Update. CIDs, etc.
–True or False: CU capital is just an extension of the share insurance fund.
–Mortgage statements and E-Sign.
–Financing cars bought online as a category killer.
–Low compliance products: what happens when credit unions drop products based on the cost of compliance? What are some desirable products that don’t have the same burdens as real estate lending.
–Federal law making it a criminal violation to photocopy a U.S. government ID.
–Big K Roundup.
Listen to the episode here or subscribe on iTunes Podcast App.
Filed under: Uncategorized
By: Sarah Stevenson.
Oftentimes when I am asked my educational background and I respond with; “Well, I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts…” I am stopped short with the following question; “How on earth did you end up in Compliance and what does Art have to do with Compliance?”
I have been pondering this question after mulling through 2000+ pages of proposed mortgage regulation and came up with the following conclusion.
Compliance involves a significant amount of research as we all know. Whether researching Regulation Z, Subpart F for specific rules on private education loans or Regulation CC for how long you can place a hold on a check a significant amount of a compliance professional’s time is spent on research. The same is true for an artist. As artists, art historians and curators, research is always involved. Before starting a new painting I may study and research another artist’s technique or use of mediums to get my desired outcome. In curating a show or writing a report on a particular movement or artist significant research is involved before one can even begin to explain a particular artist’s technique or why they painted this particular image or perhaps why an artist repeated a color in much of their work, such as Johannes Vermeer and his use of lapis lazuli or natural ultramarine in his paintings when really no other artists of his time were.
While ever frustrating at times art and regulatory compliance are open to interpretation. One may spend hours observing and studying a particular piece wondering what the artist meant and interpreting the piece as a struggle the artist may have had or sense a feeling of anger based on the use of red, when another may feel the use of red was a feeling of passion the artist wished to portray.
The CFPB continues to push out proposals with the purpose of making disclosures easier for consumers to understand while we on the other hand sit at our desks sifting through the outpouring of words and documents trying to make sense of it all and really not interpreting these changes as consumer friendly. We all can read a regulation but we can all interpret it differently.
Artists and compliance professionals must be able to take criticism and accept it for what it is and if unable to accept it, be able to defend our position. Artists face critiques from their peers on opening night of their new gallery show. Critics who attend the show may despise their work expressing their distaste in their formal review or they may grill the artist as to what the “meaning” behind their exhibit or a particular piece is even after reading the artist’s statement about the exhibit. Art students displaying their Senior Exhibitions are faced with potentially harsh critiques from professors and their fellow classmates after spending four years working towards their Senior Exhibition. An artist will stand behind their work, however difficult it may be, taking the criticism and facing it head on defending their position and possibly even using some of the criticism in preparation for their next exhibition.
Compliance professionals face similar criticism. After spending countless hours researching, reading and interpreting a regulation we must then present it to various business units in order to implement appropriate changes based on the requirements of the regulation. Compliance professionals are often not the most “popular” person in the credit union and we must accept that. We meet with the department heads presenting the regulatory changes; changes to documents, time limits, disclosure requirements, tracking requirements and the list goes on. We are often met with resistance and are often criticized because we are the messengers but we must defend our positions in knowing that we are presenting what is required of us as a credit union.
Artists and compliance professionals are often told we are too literal or too abstract in our thinking and that is okay. I have discovered whether you are an artist, a compliance professional or both, like me, we can all be considered a “compliance artist”.
Sarah Stevenson is the Compliance Manager for a Michigan based credit union. She can be reached at email@example.com
Filed under: Frivolous Friday
When I teach the legal aspects of social media, I usually ask the audience what the hardest part of doing a credit union blog is. The answer? Generating the content. You would not think that slapping up 400 words worth of blah blah would be that hard a couple of days a week. But there’s a catch. It’s not 400 words of blah blah, it’s 400 words that are either informative, entertaining or both. Otherwise no one comes back.
Since this is a Frivolous Friday post, I can feel free to reach a little bit and that’s what I am going to do. I am taking my wife to see Dennis DeYoung tonight. Those of you who know music are probably laughing. To music aficionados, Styx is no longer thought of as a cool band and many of you might be thinking: “were they ever?” Yes, there was a time in small town America during the late ’70s and early ’80s when Styx was highly regarded. In fact, that time period was their heyday before people began rejecting all those synthesizers and dramatic vocals. Nonetheless, Styx remains in popular culture occasionally popping up in commercials or cartoons. Styx was over the top even by ’70s band standards, with not just one but two talented lead singers. Today those singers are touring separately the one I’m seeing tonight is definitely the more theatrical of the two.
Which brings us to the tie-in. Are credit unions cool still? Were they ever? If not, when was their heyday? I would say that credit unions might have come into a little bit of coolness with the whole bank transfer day thing last year. That is, until people see that your typical credit union is often made up of hard working people who wear a lot of hats, focus on member service, and try their best to keep costs down. In my opinion, credit unions aren’t cool in that James Dean style benchmark, credit unions are awesome in the bring-value-to-the-world sort of way. Are they in their heyday? That’s a tougher question. Many might say that in America, credit unions had their heyday in the 1930s when Ed Filene, Dora Maxwell and Louise Herring were expanding the Credit Union Movement into a national force.
Today, there are few new credit unions being minted and much has been made about how credit union assets as a group are increasing but the number of credit unions are declining. I blame increased regulatory compliance but there are also market factors and competition making this happen as well. So to tie all this together, are credit unions like the band Styx with their heyday over and the two lead singers touring separately and capturing ticket sales from aging Gen Xers? Not at all. It is entirely frivolous to compare the awesomeness of the Credit Union Movement to a band from the 70s. But I have written more than 400 words on Friday so my job here is done. Have a great weekend.