By Donya Parrish, MCU VP- Risk Management
If you are planning a fully virtual annual meeting for your credit union, you better hurry. The authority to do so expires at the end of the year. Last week, NCUA notified federal credit unions that the flexibility for virtual annual meetings they were given during COVID will expire at the end of 2022. The letter lays out options for continuing with a hybrid meeting that has both an in-person and a virtual option, if a credit union chooses, as well as options for continuing with most board meetings virtually when desired.
The agency recognized the challenges for gathering safely during COVID and provided multiple letters during 2020 and 2021 to authorize virtual meetings of the membership. That included holding all board meetings virtually as well. With notice that the emergency exemption is expiring Dec. 31, NCUA did provide some options.
One of those is to have a hybrid annual membership meeting with both in-person and virtual options to reach a quorum and conduct the meeting. Some credit unions have used that effectively. This approach does allow those living in outlying areas or not wanting to brave weather and flu season a chance to participate, but it might also require technology the credit union doesn’t have easy access to.
Another option NCUA provided was that boards of directors can hold all but one of their monthly board meetings each calendar year virtually. As long as one meeting a year is held in person, the requirement is satisfied. The letter also notes that as long as a quorum of directors is present in person, remaining directors can continue to attend virtually.
It sounds like credit unions across Montana have found varying success with virtual board meetings, so it is nice to have the option to mostly continue them if you choose. I do have to wonder if you miss the pizza or sandwiches when not gathering in person!