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Landmark exam parity bill gets Ill. gov. signature
CHICAGO (7/25/14)--The examination process for Illinois credit unions was just upgraded, as Gov. Pat Quinn signed a bill into law Thursday that will certify that the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation administers fair examination protocols for all state-chartered credit unions.

Sean Hession, Illinois Credit Union League president/CEO, left; Patrick Smith, vice president of communications and regulatory affairs; Steve Olson, executive vice president/general counsel/chief operating officer; Ashley Niebur, manager of state governmental affairs, and Keith Sias, vice president of governmental affairs, witness Ill. Gov. Pat Quinn sign HB 5342. (Illinois Credit Union League Photo)
HB 5342 will require all state regulatory examinations to be conducted in a procedurally and consistent manner, and aims to provide clarity, flexibility and authority in a number of operational areas.

The Illinois Credit Union League (ICUL) played a key role in drafting the bill, which passed both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly with wide-ranging support in May.  

The bill was sponsored by Deputy Majority Leader Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie) and Sen. Dave Koehler (D-Peoria), two longtime advocates for credit unions.

"There will now be standards that state-chartered credit unions can reference and rely upon with respect to the entire regulatory examination process," said Steve Olson, ICUL executive vice president/general counsel.

Added ICUL President/CEO Sean Hession: "The contents of the bill, as well as the rules and guidelines to promulgate it, are cause for celebration and will serve as a model across the country for state and federal regulators."

The key provisions of the bill include:
  • The authorization for credit unions to form charitable donation accounts, which will allow credit unions to reach for higher yields on charitable accounts as long as 51% of the returns are donated to a recognized charity;
     
  • The ability for credit unions to share daily operational services, correspondent services and fixed assets, which will allow them to achieve economies of scale and operate more efficiently;
     
  • Permission for credit unions to forego drafting a new appraisal during either a mortgage loan renewal, refinancing or restructuring when no money is advanced;
     
  • The requirement for Illinois credit union board members to have a basic understanding of a credit union's financial statements, services, products operational risks and internal control structures; and
     
  • The requirement that Illinois credit union supervisory committee members receive annual training to their statutory duties.


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