NCUA Financial Literacy Rules Spark Seminars
Those new NCUA rules taking effect next week on financial literacy for credit union directors continued to stir heightened compliance worries as industry trade groups and vendors pressed ahead with an array of training and education seminars, online and in person.
CUNA, for one, said one of its audio seminars set for Jan. 13 on the topic was drawing a large number of sign-ups-1,800 participants-topping previous on-air briefings and rivaling the corporate stabilization sessions held last year.
The 1,800 registrants is in addition to 400 requests for tapes of the session conducted by CUNA's Center for Professional Development, noted Todd Spiczenski, vice president.
Meanwhile, NAFCU, state leagues and vendors continued to ramp up training seminars and field questions on the new rules, which take effect Jan. 27 but contain a six-month lead time in requiring director competency on basic finance and accounting practices.
"I think I have 15 of these seminars on my schedule, which is the most I've ever done like this," said Tim Harrington, a Tucson, Ariz., consultant who was to participate in CUNA's Jan. 13 session led by Paul Paterson, NCUA associate general counsel.
Among trade groups there was some confusion about how to prepare directors, with a top staffer for the National Association of Credit Union Chairmen wondering "whether I need to hire attorneys or auditors to conduct these educational seminars for our members."
There has also been criticism of the NCUA rules. Some CU executives complained the rules discourage volunteers from serving on CU boards and demean their intelligence. But the agency has insisted they are needed to align director education with economic changes impacting CUs as many undergo sharply lower net worth.
Among the league programs, the North Carolina Credit Union League said it has scheduled a series of 12 statewide seminars in March.
And Credit Union Times is teaming up with Stuart Levine & Associates to create the Credit Union Leadership Forum Jan. 25. The purpose of the forum is "to strengthen boards of directors by providing learning opportunities that ensure credit union stability and growth."