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Boards and Examiners: Know Your Rights

by Tabitha Garvin, MCUN

We frequently hear from our credit unions about their annual examination from NCUA. For some, its just a matter of business, but for others, it can be a stressful and intimidating process. Especially, for those who are new to the credit union board.

We met recently with both state and federal regulatory bodies to assist with improvements to the exam process. Here, NCUA Regional Director Keith Morton, MCUCD’s Karen Smith, and NCUA’s Sherri Hudson and Mille Avalos listen to feedback from the exam survey.

We have good news for you -- as boards, you have rights. Know your rights and make sure your examination process is collaborative, productive, and helpful.
 
The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) prepared a list of your "Credit Union Examination Rights." If you have an examination forthcoming, be sure your board reviews this document. Most importantly, your board determines the vision and strategic direction and holds the fiduciary responsibility for your credit union. It is vital that the examination process supports these.
 
Welcome the opportunity to talk with your examiner. An experienced examiner can help you see areas of strength and offer insights from their experience. They will help you recognize and respond to areas of risk noted for your credit union.
 
Speak with one voice. The board is one entity. Decisions are made with the voice of one board -- not individuals. Apply this concept to the examination process. The examiner should speak only with the full board. Be engaged in the process and participate in the schedule meeting with the examiner.
 
Know your mission, vision, and strategic plans. Examiners should be able to show how their findings relate to these.
 
Feel free to call the Network. One of your rights is to have representation with you when you speak with an examiner. If you have questions or concerns, reach out to our staff.

Tabitha Garvin is the VP-Fee Based Services for the Montana Credit Union Network. She would welcome any questions or comments on this material. You can email Tabitha or call her at 800-745-5546, ext. 132.

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