Governance risk, information technology exams and economic forecasting are on the agenda at what Ohio credit union regulator Mike Wettrich is calling the inaugural Ohio Credit Union Day, an all-day conference for state-chartered Buckeye credit unions scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 30 in Columbus.
Wettrich, deputy superintendent at the Ohio Department of Commerce’s Division of Financial Institutions, said the event is an opportunity for state-chartered credit union officials to interact with, and ask questions of, their primary regulator.
After speaking at credit union trade association events, Wettrich said the Ohio regulator decided to “drive the bus” and create from scratch its own conference based upon topic feedback from examiners.
Speakers will include Wettrich and others from the DFI, Ohio Lt. Governor Mary Taylor, Cleveland Federal Reserve Bank economist Guhan Venkatu, NASCUS President/CEO Mary Martha Fortney, Compliance Project Officer Mark Enis from the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, and the CFPB’s interim regional director, Rose Pickrum.
Breakout sessions will include a course on reducing risks at annual meetings and monthly board meetings. Wettrich said due to growth, some credit unions may be violating annual meeting quorum requirements.
“If a credit union still has the same board as it had 30 years ago, but it’s 30-times the size it was then, it might not be conducting the annual meeting like it should,” he said.
Monthly board meetings should include appropriate information for directors, who are expected to make strategic decisions to reduce and mitigate risks.
Ohio law requires annual training for board members, but Wettrich said the law is kept flexible to accommodate $1 million and $1 billion credit unions, which have very different educational needs.
“Sometimes it’s as simple as having them read the CUNA magazine, read the Bank Secrecy Act or attend a trade association annual convention,” the Ohio regulator said of the educational requirement.
Directors should know the basics, such as how to read a balance sheet and why credit unions are flush with deposits and struggling to lend today. Wettrich said he thinks most directors overseeing Ohio’s state-chartered credit unions do understand those basics.
A second breakout session will focus on what credit unions can expect from IT exams, such as inquiries into penetration testing, online users, and risks related to technology-based services like remote deposit capture.
“Younger consumers want those apps on their iPhone, but with that comes the risk of maybe opening to the doors to penetration risk,” he said.
Wettrich didn’t have an updated number of credit unions that have RSVP’d for the event, but said he’s received good feedback from the 161 state-chartered credit unions in Ohio, and added if enough attend it will become an annual event.