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A Direct Line Blog

Meet Montana’s Credit Union Bureau Chief

February 6, 2019 7:30 am


Rick Christianson is the Credit Union Bureau Chief for the Montana Division of Banking and Financial Institutions. In that role, he and his team serve as the regulator for our nine state-chartered credit unions (which account for over half our state’s assets!) Here is a snapshot of Rick to get to know him on a more personal level.

How do you describe your job to those who don’t know what a state credit union examiner and bureau chief is? My responsibility is to make sure credit unions are good stewards of their members’ money and operate in a safe and sound manner. Part of the job is ensuring state and federal laws are followed. The best part of the job is working collaboratively with credit union management to help them be successful.

What was your most memorable experience in your role? There are so many good ones, it is hard to choose.

What do you think credit unions do really well? Credit unions take genuine interest in their members and provide individualized service. I have seen many success stories in credit unions that have helped members get back on their feet.

What word or phrase would people use to describe you? Hopefully I would be described as fair.

If you could look in a crystal ball, where do you see credit unions in 5 years? Montana’s credit unions are very well managed, and I expect continued growth and cutting edge product and service offerings. The credit union industry will experience further consolidation going forward.

Do you have a hobby when you are not working? I am a woodworker. Sawdust therapy is a great stress reliever.

What was your (previous) favorite job and how did it prepare you for this role? I was the Accounting Supervisor at Valley Credit Union, where I sharpened my accounting skills and learned about the credit union industry. I learned that the numbers told the story of the institution’s past, present, and maybe gave a glimpse of the future.

Thank you, Rick! We enjoy working with you and hope to see you at our Power Up meeting in May.

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