CUNA Compliance Impact
Oregon Community CU compliance staff, from left: Debbie Thurston, enterprise risk specialist; Noelle L. Winterburn, risk assessments and control manager; and Steven Scott, compliance officer.

Compliance upholds, preserves CU reputation

Consequences of neglecting reputational risk can be severe, says Oregon Community CU staff.

October 22, 2016

Oregon Community Credit Union in Eugene received a CUNA Compliance Impact Award Best in Class for credit unions with more than $500 million in assets.

Noelle Winterburn, risk assessments and controls manager for the $1.5 billion asset credit union, spoke with Credit Union Magazine about her approach to compliance.

The award recognizes outstanding achievements in credit union compliance management by individuals and credit unions.

Q: How have your efforts minimized or eliminated reputational, financial, or operational loss?

A: We’ve implemented a robust member complaint-tracking system that empowers employees to log member complaints or issues. This enables us to more quickly make changes that solve problems and benefit our membership while minimizing organizational loss or risk.

Q: Why is it important for your CU to avoid reputational risk?

A: At the end of the day, our reputation is a critical aspect of our relationship with the communities we serve and the members we support. Oregon Community enjoys a strong, positive standing within the community.

The consequences of neglecting reputational risk can be severe: negative impact on financial targets, a decline in member growth, and a loss of credibility in the community.

Q: How does your CU ensure consistency when it comes to compliance?

A: We have two significant strategies for achieving compliance consistency. Oregon Community has implemented a compliance monitoring program and established a compliance committee.

These important initiatives have allowed our credit union to reach our compliance goals and stay abreast of regulatory changes.

Q: What’s the biggest compliance issue you see arising in the next few years?

Risk-based capital and member business loans will change the way we operate moving forward. We must stay on top of new regulatory compliance challenges in order to meet business needs.

Q: How does your CU avoid making mistakes you’ve seen other institutions make?

A: As hard as it can be to stay on top of compliance/regulatory issues, it’s even harder to play catch-up when you fall behind.

The biggest compliance mistake occurs when institutions are reactive instead of proactive when it comes to compliance and regulatory adherence or change.

The positive difference at Oregon Community is the result of making it a priority to stay ahead of the game. This strategy has contributed to our success in the compliance area.