Compliance officers don’t need to know everything; just enough to know where to look for more information.
That’s one piece of advice that has served Don Montague well during his time as a compliance officer for $1.2 billion asset Harborstone Credit Union in Lakewood, Wash.
Montague is a runner up for CUNA’s 2017 Compliance Champion Best in Class Award among credit unions with more than $500 million in assets.
The award recognizes credit union compliance professionals who best demonstrate leadership, achievement, and excellence in compliance management, and have made a significant contribution to the industry.
Montague received his award at the CUNA Regulatory Compliance Certification School.
Credit Union Magazine recently asked Montague to share what makes him tick.
CU Mag: When it comes to compliance, how do you win over the ‘resistors?’
Montague: I find that when employees are resistant to something it’s usually because they may not understand why something needs to be done or why a particular procedure needs to be followed.
Articulating regulatory requirements in plain English and using real-life examples helps to gain buy-in a lot easier than saying “the regulators expect us to do it this way.”
For example, I chair the credit union’s quarterly Compliance Management Committee. I like to include lawsuits and enforcement actions against other financial institutions in the committee packet to stimulate discussion and underscore the potential consequences of non-compliance.
CU Mag: What’s the best compliance-related advice you’ve received?
Montague: The best advice I received as a new compliance officer was that I did not need to know everything; I just needed to know enough to guide me where to find it for more information.
CU Mag: Which regulation would you most like to see overhauled?
Montague: I really would like to see Regulation Z [Truth in Lending] overhauled and simplified.
It has gotten so convoluted, beginning with the CARD Act and other amendments that it can be difficult to grasp.
CU Mag: What topic should compliance professionals place squarely on their radar for 2018?
Montague: For 2018, compliance professionals should keep Unfair, Deceptive, or Abusive Acts or Practices, Telephone Consumer Protection Act, and Americans with Disabilities Act website compliance on their radar because these areas are ripe for nuisance lawsuits.
Other areas on my radar are overdraft protection, fair lending, and implementing the new Home Mortgage Disclosure Act requirements.
CU Mag: What’s the most inspiring thing about showing up for work every day?
Montague: The most inspiring thing about showing up for work at my credit union every day is it’s an opportunity for me to learn something new, share my knowledge to help others, and be part of a great organization with a dynamic culture.
► Keep current with Bank Secrecy Act changes by attending the CUNA Bank Secrecy Act Conference Nov. 12-15 in Las Vegas