MAUI — What was billed as a presentation on essentials in credit union board financial education essentials evolved into discussion of topics ranging from the NCUA’s director education requirements to peer comparisons.
Bob Schumacher, retired CEO of the $82 million MountainCrest Credit Union turned consultant, led a session here Tuesday titled “Financial Essentials for Volunteers” at The Paragon Group’s Volunteer Leadership Institute. As the title portrays, he covered the basics of the balance sheet. “Your capital to asset ratio–that’s what you live by, folks,” he asserted.
But the interactive session took various turns as the audience peppered him with questions. One of the hottest discussions centered on examinations. The inconsistency of the NCUA was an oft-repeated concern. Situations were shared where examiners told a credit union to form a committee to oversee all the loans running through the credit union, and the next year asked why the credit union was doing that.
Representatives from a credit union in California explained that the NCUA and state regulator conclusions didn’t jibe and as all three parties sat down to discuss it, the two regulators moved farther apart. The state examiners found this credit union in better standing than did the NCUA.
A representative from a Washington credit union questioned the motivation behind the agency’s director education regulations. He stated that he absolutely recognized the value of training but having the agency tell him he needed it stuck in his craw. Still others said the requirement only made credit unions stronger.
Aside from the regulations, audience members debated the merits of peer comparisons based solely on asset size. One attendee stated that despite the local conditions, a credit union needs to keep the lights on so the bottom line is the bottom line. Others saw greater value in adding other factors to the mix such as geography, field of membership, and business focus.