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CUNA gives compliance officer advice in iCU Magazinei
WASHINGTON (9/17/12)--Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Federal Compliance Counsel Colleen Kelly welcomed newly promoted compliance officers to the family, and, with the help of compliance veterans, gave them advice on how to adapt to their new position, in  September's Credit Union Magazine.

As they take on their new role, compliance professionals should seek out as much training as possible, the Credit Union Magazine article said. Online training webinars and compliance schools are great options, and becoming a certified "credit union compliance expert" (CUCE) through CUNA's RegTrac certification program will also help. State credit union leagues and other outside sources also offer local compliance seminars.

New compliance officers should also develop a network of colleagues that they can call on, and should particularly work to develop relationships with compliance officers from credit unions of similar sizes to theirs. Local and regional compliance roundtables exist to aid this kind of networking, and CUNA's compliance schools can also serve as a meeting place for new colleagues, Kelly wrote. CUNA offers these schools at least four times per year.

The item also recommends that new compliance officers:

  • Acquaint themselves with online resources, including CUNA's e-Guide to Federal Laws and Regulations and other CUNA resources, state league resources such as InfoSight, and home pages for various regulators, including the National Credit Union Administration, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; and
  • Subscribe to daily blogs and e-mail lists, such as CUNA's daily compliance blog, CompBlog, CUNA's Compliance Brainstorming on the Web (COBWEB) compliance e-mail list, and other RSS feeds.
On the job, compliance officers should be sure their colleagues understand the importance of regulatory compliance, and should not be afraid to tell colleagues with questions "let me check on that and get back to you." When facing a compliance issue, accuracy always outweighs expediency, Kelly said.

While compliance officers can be seen as the bearer of bad news, they also have a chance to become a "go-to" resource that helps their credit union create compliance solutions.

Compliance officers aren't there to make the rules, they are just there to interpret them, Kelly noted.

Getting involved in the development, improvement, and promotion of products and services as early as possible can help avoid late-breaking compliance issues. In addition, keeping good records can aid compliance officers if noncompliance issues crop up at a later date, Kelly said.

And, in closing, the Credit Union Magazine item offered one final piece of advice: "maintain a sense of humor, and get a dog."


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