Jim Nussle

Compliance gains new importance amid COVID-19

Compliance plays a big role in our mission to help credit unions serve their members.

August 12, 2020

We’ve all learned a lot since early March when the coronavirus (COVID-19) descended on many of our communities and pushed our entire economy to the brink.

Yes, we’ve faced an historic challenge, but we’ve seen time and again how our movement is equipped to respond to anything—including a global pandemic. Amid our response, our compliance professionals and compliance support services are ready for the challenge.

When we set out to deliver a new compliance management system for CUNA members, we never imagined the vital role it would take on so quickly after launching. While it may seem like difficult timing, it couldn’t have been more fortuitous as credit unions needed advanced compliance support during COVID-19 more than ever before.

The Credit Union Compliance Management System™ (CU CMS), offered free as a CUNA/league member benefit, and for-fee solution Credit Union Compliance Management PLUS™ (CU CMS+), hit the ground running after launching to all credit unions at the 2020 CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference in February.

Since becoming available, roughly 500 credit unions have signed up to use CU CMS or CU CMS+.

It’s no surprise this compliance solution gained users so quickly. In the face of COVID-19, compliance professionals were on the front lines of responding to new regulatory standards. In fact, the CU CMS has already pushed out 36 COVID-19-related alerts.

Compliance has always been an essential job. But with so much changing so quickly, our compliance peers have been truly invaluable.

Credit union compliance folks are dedicated and engaged. These professionals show a commitment that is certainly not limited to times of crisis.

‘Credit union compliance professionals show a commitment that is certainly not limited to times of crisis.’

Just one quick look at the CUNA Compliance Community and you’ll see incredible collaboration happening every day among its more than 6,100 users.

It’s a real example that we’re all better together in our movement.

CUNA’s Compliance team responds to hundreds of complex compliance inquiries each year. We knew a compliance management solution would be a breakthrough for compliance professionals because they told us that’s what they needed.

At CUNA and the leagues, it’s our job to listen and respond to credit unions. When we rolled out the new compliance solution in late 2019 for early testing, our users gave valuable feedback that allowed us to make important tweaks and feel fully confident in the product.

Leagues have also been key stakeholders throughout this process, and we’re grateful that seven leagues are now partnering with and supporting CUNA in offering the solution to their members as well.

Our CUNA/league approach to compliance support is embedded in our 360-degree advocacy, where we work to reduce our regulatory burden. We know we can do more to ensure CUNA and leagues work together to support compliance needs, and we’re committed to doing just that.

Ultimately, this isn’t about a specific solution. This is about supporting credit unions.

That’s our job at CUNA and the leagues. It’s our mission to help credit unions serve their members, and we know compliance plays a big role in that effort.

While COVID-19 has dominated all facets of life the last few months, there are always compliance issues to consider. Remember, the Compliance Community and CU CMS  are resources for credit unions no matter your asset size or field of membership.

JIM NUSSLE is president/CEO of Credit Union National Association.