THE 'tude

A friend who is the CEO of a mid-sized credit union works the teller line one Friday each month.  Lightheartedly, he expresses to me that branch managers won’t give him a cash drawer.

Members are looking for ways to easily connect with their credit union through a variety of different channels; ranging from branch interactions to digital service points. They are not only asking for, but expecting reliable and accurate self-service solutions.

It’s not true that the Bravo Network is rushing to introduce a new reality show, “The Real NCUA Board Members of Alexandria.” At least not yet.

I speak to credit union executives across the country every week. The hot topics these days include growing new sources of fee income, the burdens of increased regulatory oversight, and the non-stop challenges of competitive incursions. Fee income is my specialty, and it is one of the most poorly understood topics in financial services today.

As we pass that point in January where we no longer automatically wish each other a Happy New Year, most credit unions realize that it’s time to start working toward those 2015 goals that seemed so promising but so distant when they were formulated back before the holidays.

It is no secret that within the last year the Information Security community has been developing and adopting specific initiatives to mitigate the effect of cybersecurity attacks. Cybersecurity is a subset of Information Security processes for protecting information by preventing, detecting, and responding to attacks within Cyberspace (e.g. Internet, Telecommunications networks, computer systems).

It’s easy to slip into clichés and stereotypes when it comes to credit union board members. Old enough to have shared some high school carpentry classes with Moses. Like piranhas devouring a carcass right down to the bones when it comes to cleaning out a trade show booth of its tchotchkes. About as open to new ideas as they are to changing their traditional seats at board meetings.

NCUA’s efforts to modernize its regulations and identify credit unions that take outsized risks have been the subject of a great deal of attention, and some in the industry still wonder if we really need this rule. The answer is yes, and let me explain why.

NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz is suggesting that the new risk-based capital proposal is legal and that she asked for unbiased legal opinion regarding the new RBC proposal.