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A Direct Line Blog

An Update for Board Members

March 25, 2020 7:30 am

By Donya Parrish, VP–Risk Management

It has been a whirlwind few weeks as the country, state, and your communities deal with COVID-19. Many of your credit unions have taken the step to close your lobbies to keep employees and members safe and reduce face-to-face interactions and potential exposure.

At MCU, we are working to keep you informed without adding to the noise and overwhelming amount of information coming at all of us. That means you may not always see a weekly blog right now, but there are other communications occurring that we can include you in.

Here are a few quick updates that pertain to you as board members

  • Our weekly President’s Report is now primarily focused on COVID-19 information and resources and we have added a Tuesday communication to keep our credit unions updated mid-week. If you would like to receive those emails, just send myself or Beth Satre a quick email.
  • We have a web page we are updating regularly, in fact a few times a day right now, to keep credit union-specific information on pandemic planning, employee concerns, regulator communications, and resources in one location.
  • Our annual convention and meeting, Power Up, has been rescheduled (from May 13-15 in Billings) to Oct. 19-21 in Helena. Registration will be open by May 1 and you can find up-to-date details here.
  • Tim Harrington provided a timely article for the CU Times (whose paywall is down for now!) titled Governance During Crisis. I encourage you to take the time to read it.
  • The NCUA and Montana Division of Banking have both been communicating regularly to encourage your credit unions to work with financially impacted members, to offer information on holding board meetings virtually, and to provide specific guidance on how your bylaws can be adjusted by a board vote to adjust your annual membership meeting if needed. I would encourage you to take a look at them below:
    • NCUA issued a Letter to Credit Unions on March 16 to encourage credit unions to work with impacted members along with a FAQ on handling annual membership meetings, board elections, and more.
    • NCUA also issued additional guidance on March 20 concerning annual meeting flexibility.
    • Montana Division of Banking also issued a statement on March 20 providing guidance for state-chartered credit unions.

The primary message right now is that these are unique times and it is important that credit unions be proactive in working with members by waiving fees, offering loan modifications, and helping both the membership and your communities survive pending economic challenges.

Know that we are here for you at MCU and available if you have questions, need resources, or if we can provide any assistance at all. We are working closely with our national association and federal delegation to provide as much relief to you as possible in this highly regulated world. Thank you for all you do and your continued commitment!

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