Trades Beef Up Regulatory Services While Regulators Rack Up Rules
The expansion of CUNA’s Regulatory Advocacy Report distribution is the latest effort by trade associations to respond to industry calls for solutions to the growing regulatory burden.
The weekly Monday morning e-bulletin, now available for free to members who sign up for the service, features a front-page run down of topics that includes a click-thru link to the full article so time-starved executives don’t have to read through the entire issue, said Deputy Counsel Mary Dunn.
Dunn said she continually challenges herself and her staff to find new and successful ways to communicate the Regulatory Advocacy Team’s efforts with members, collect feedback, and “make sure (members) are part of the regulatory advocacy equation.”
Beefing up its regulatory offerings complements the group’s 2013 legislative priorities, announced in January, which include among its four key agenda items reducing regulatory burden.
Kathy Thompson, senior vice president of compliance, said material her team produces for members also is organized with clear headings that allow readers to “quickly skim through” to find topics of interest to them.
“We know there are a lot of people in credit union land that are responsible for compliance, but don’t live and breathe it,” she said. “In small credit unions, it’s often up to the CEO.”
That means updating the group’s CompBlog frequently, at least once daily, with analysis of new rules, examination tips, and product-specific compliance considerations. In 2012, CUNA posted more than 400 CompBlog entries, she said.
The e-bulletin and blog work together with other communication channels like webinars, conference calls, live conferences and league efforts to get compliance information delivered to members.
Topics are often brought to CUNA’s attention after members repeatedly call CUNA’s five-person compliance staff with questions, Thompson said. Getting information out to members electronically, in a format they can access themselves, keeps the phone lines clear for new questions and other topics, she said.
NAFCU is also focused on regulatory relief in 2013, announcing a five-point reg relief plan Feb. 12 that touches upon administrative, structural and operational improvements, as well as capital regulatory reform and new rules governing data security.
Calls and emails seeking help from NAFCU’s regulatory affairs and compliance departments has “increased 100-fold,” said Executive Vice President of Governmental Affairs Dan Berger. Berger will replace President/CEO Fred Becker upon Becker’s retirement this summer.
“We recently beefed up our regulatory affairs department with couple new attorneys and a couple of new attorneys in compliance as well,” Berger said, when asked how the trade is dealing with increased demand for regulatory assistance from members.
He said NAFCU hasn’t necessarily put an emphasis on providing more regulatory services than before, but rather, is simply keeping up with new rules handed down by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, NCUA and other regulators. He predicted the current regulatory burden to remain a challenge over the next three to four years before subsiding.
NAFCU has also increased its frequency of webcasts, which is produces on site from a studio located at its Arlington, Va., headquarters.
“When something breaks, (General Counsel) Carrie (Hunt) or (Director of Regulatory Compliance) Steve (Van Beek) can do a webcast on a specific rule right away,” Berger said.
Like CUNA, NAFCU also varies its delivery channels to include articles, newsletters and blogs so members can conveniently access the information. Berger said enrollment at NAFCU’s upcoming regulatory compliance school, scheduled for March 18 to 23 in National Harbor, Md., is up from prior years.
He also lauded a CFPB mortgage regulation chart that shows how the new regulations will apply to credit union mortgage operations.
“Actually, it’s one of the most helpful documents we’ve seen come out of NAFCU,” he said.