ALEXANDRIA, Va. (12/10/09)--National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Chairman Debbie Matz encouraged credit unions' volunteers to actively work with their management to ensure the "short-term perseverance and long-term success of our nation's credit unions." Matz made the comments while speaking to 500 attendees at the CUES Directors Conference in Palm Desert, Calif., this week. She updated volunteers on NCUA's recently proposed regulatory framework for corporate credit unions, and on examiners' increasing supervision of retail credit unions. Matz also reminded that both initiatives are intended to protect credit union members, and she called on credit union volunteers to do their part. "The policies I have outlined will provide support and, when necessary, intervention to prevent potential crises that could impact the financial security of credit union members," she said. "But at the end of the day, we look to credit union directors as the ultimate guardians of the industry's fiscal health." Matz focused on three areas where volunteers can play critical roles:
* Risk management. "Be active, well-informed and visionary," she said. "Question and challenge assumptions of your credit union's managers. You are your members' first line of defense in risk management. Right now, your utmost diligence is an absolute necessity." * Diversification. "Focus on your fields of membership and their diversity. Help make sure that our board and staff reflect that diversity so they can better understand your members' needs and respond to them," Matz advised. * Succession planning. "Engage in diligent succession planning. The safety and soundness of credit unions will depend in large measure on a healthy, well-planned continuity of leadership on volunteer boards," she said, adding, "Volunteer leaders should make this a high priority of service."
Matz noted that "this is a lot of work to ask of volunteers," and added she is "well aware that you volunteer not for any form of compensation but for your sense of civic duty and your belief that America's credit unions are worth fighting for. "You've never forgotten that credit unions were created to serve people too often ignored by for-profit financial institutions. Together we can seize this opportunity to safeguard their financial well-being and grow credit union membership from 90 million to 100 million and beyond." To access the full text of the speech, use the link.