SEATAC, Wash. (2/11/15)--State-chartered credit unions in Washington may soon operate under a new set of bylaws thanks to the efforts of a work group recently assembled by the Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA).
The new set of bylaws, which includes big picture changes as well as small revisions, will replace the most recent iteration, which was developed in 2001 (Anthem Feb. 9).
"The Model Bylaw project was an interesting and worthwhile project that should provide lasting benefits for all Washington state-chartered credit unions," said Brian Witt, NWCUA legal counsel and member of the work group. "We were able to conduct a critical review of existing credit union bylaws, shed unnecessary non-governance provisions and make important updates that maximize governance efficiency and protection."
Witt was joined by John Trull, NWCUA director of regulatory affairs, and state credit union leaders with legal, compliance and operational expertise.
The final product features updates to provisions of the old bylaws and includes innovative ideas to make corporate governance more efficient, according to Anthem.
For example, a number of credit unions in the state conduct electronic voting between board meetings without appropriate legal support, and the new bylaws update those electronic voting rules.
Linda Jekel, director of credit unions for the state's Department of Financial Institutions, also suggested improvements that will provide credit unions flexibility.
"We achieved our goal of creating a set of bylaws that would allow for flexibility and could stand the test of time," said Mina Worthington, work group member and president/CEO of Solarity CU, Yakima, Wash., with $531 million in assets.
All state-chartered credit unions will have access to the model bylaws and an annotated version. Workshops designed to give credit union professionals an opportunity to improve operational efficiency through the use of bylaws can only be accessed by affiliated credit unions.