Developing strong relationships with state and federal regulators should be a goal for all credit union leadership, writes Illinois Credit Union League President/CEO Tom Kane in a recent piece for CUInsight. Kane notes that is it one of the best ways leaders can successfully achieve compliance goals, and these relationships require planning and open engagement at all times.
Kane cites Harvard Business School’s list of for main opportunities as a place to start, and notes that putting in the work beforehand is helpful in situations like the current pandemic.
“Unexpected situations like the COVID-19 pandemic create the need for fast action and added communication. For this reason, the Illinois Credit Union League has facilitated virtual townhall meetings to provide credit unions opportunities for open communication with legislators and regulators,” he said. “Well-developed relationships with regulators and continuous communication can make a positive difference.”
He also advised credit unions to create a good internal structure, as a prepared team is able to foster clear discussions, enabling information to be shared and feedback to be received in an organized manner.
“Teamwork is crucial during uncertain times. Recently, it helped address the broad nature of an authorization by the Secretary of the Department of Financial & Professional Regulation that exempts field of membership as a requirement to participate in any government program (including PPP) based on a referral from another credit union,” he wrote. “ICUL ‘s internal team worked to craft guidelines and a few types of agreements around it, creating a structure to accompany the authorization and reaching out to credit unions. Now, a large number of credit unions are ready to be lenders and refer members!”