By Donya Parrish, MCU VP Risk Management
Often when you hear anything about the NCUA (National Credit Union Administration), it is in the context of something you MUST do. That includes complying with regulations they approve or exam findings that need attention. Now, as a director, you have a chance to provide input in a couple of important areas.
NCUA announced at their April board meeting that they are seeking input on modernizing the standard federal credit union bylaws. Of the five areas they requested feedback, two are directly applicable to the board — recruiting new directors and improving attendance at the annual meeting.
Here is what the agency said about these two areas in their release:
- Improving FCU bylaws to facilitate recruitment of qualified directors. NCUA seeks ways to enhance FCU ability to recruit qualified directors. NCUA is considering adding commentary to its model bylaws that give FCUs examples of criteria to be considered when identifying candidates for vacant director seats as well as considering authorizing FCUs to create advisory committees to help recruit director candidates.
- Attendance at annual meeting. NCUA is interested in ways that it can improve the standard bylaws to encourage active member participation in annual and special meetings. NCUA bylaws mandate that the secretary of the FCU must provide members with at least 30 but not more than 75 days written notice before the date of any annual meeting. For a special meeting, the written notice must be at least 7 days before the date of the special meeting. NCUA seeks input on whether those time frames are adequate to ensure member attendance at meetings. NCUA also seeks input on use of new technologies such as web-based conferencing to enhance member participation.
While you may only refer to your bylaws when the annual meeting and elections roll around, they are an important document governing the credit union’s operations. Input from credit unions on their wish list or experience can only help to make this the best possible income.
I encourage you to consider spending some time, maybe even as a whole board, to submit comments and help NCUA move federal credit unions forward. You will also have a chance to comment on their actual proposal, but giving ideas now can go a long way toward having them heard. Comments should be given within the next 60 days.