ALEXANDRIA, Va. (5/3/11)--“Effective regulation, effective volunteer leadership, and effective outreach” are core elements of a strong credit union system, National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Chairman Debbie Matz said in a Monday address before the Credit Union National Association’s Volunteer Institute in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. Effective regulation, according to Matz, allows the NCUA to protect member investments in the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund. “Whenever a credit union is taking chances that threaten to cause serious losses, we are doing everything in our power to prevent those losses before they impact all federally insured credit unions,” Matz said, adding that “responsiveness to regulation is not enough to keep credit unions strong.” Effective volunteer leadership helps credit unions be responsive ”to credit union members and communities at large.” The agency through its recently released rules addressing credit union board members’ fiduciary duties is “clarifying and codifying the skills volunteer leaders need.” The agency is providing 34 free workshops and creating online course materials to educate volunteers. These materials will be made available before July 27, the date by which credit unions will be expected to institute financial education programs. These programs will need to sufficiently educate board members on how to understand balance sheets and income statements, and can cover other finance-related skills. “The most successful credit unions in the days ahead will not only be those with effective leadership, but also those that conduct effective outreach,” Matz added. To continue to be viable, credit unions must attract members that are younger than the current peak borrowers' age of 44. Credit unions must adapt to current and emerging technologies and enhance mobile access if they want to attract these younger consumers, Matz said. “If you can take your traditional member service and marry it with today’s cutting-edge technology, then you’ll have unlimited potential for a more prosperous tomorrow,” she said. For the full NCUA release, use the resource link.