By Donya Parrish, VP Risk Management
During the director roundtable at our Power Up conference, the group discussed some of the challenges they face, and one that came up was all the acronyms we use in this industry. Fair point! Between the agencies that oversee credit unions (FTC, NCUA, DFI, etc.) and the products and services that continue to evolve (ACH, RDC, ITM, etc.), it is no wonder many of you asked for a list to review.
BTW (by the way) when we work with these acronyms daily, they become a habit, and it’s easy to start to think that everyone knows what you are talking about. Spend a few minutes with a military or IT person and you quickly find out what it is like not to speak “the language” that they revert to naturally.
As board members, you are at a natural disadvantage. Many of you work day jobs in other industries that have their own verbiage and acronyms. If you have a son in the Boy Scouts, you probably wondered why “BSA” training was so critical. The Bank Secrecy Act is a mouthful when we talk about it so often, and again, it becomes a habit to assume others know what you are referring to. I had many head-scratching moments when “BSA meeting” came up on my calendar years ago — it was the school parent and student association!
So, to help you survive out there, here is a list of acronyms (see Appendix A) to keep handy. It is not a final list, as more agencies and products will likely be added regularly, but it should be a start. FWW (for what it’s worth), I still have to look them up all the time, since some of the terms used in a particular credit union may not be the “industry standard” but more of an internal lingo.
I am still trying to be a hip mom with my adult children, so I know what they want when they text me a new phrase. It feels more like a test, and without Google, I would be failing more often! Now, don’t even get me started on those emojis — they are a whole language by themselves. My go-to is to smile and pretend I am using the right one!