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SAN DIEGO and SEATTLE -NCUA Vice Chair JoAnn Johnson discussed regulatory and leadership issues on Jan. 23 at NAFCU’s CEOs Conference in San Diego before traveling up to Seattle to address credit unions’ futures at the Washington State Credit Union League’s Succession Planning Workshop. While in San Diego, Johnson provided an overview of the state of the credit union system, thoughts on management succession planning and discussed credit union conversions to mutual thrifts. During her speech in Seattle, Johnson stated, “Succession plans cannot be considered a luxury, they are a necessity. Assets are increasing, credit unions are becoming more sophisticated and complex, and management is aging.” Nearly half of credit union CEOs plan to retire within the next 10 years, according to a number of studies she cited. In the context of CAMEL ratings, “Management” is “the most forward-looking indicator” of a credit unions’ ability to determine and respond to financial stress, Johnson emphasized. Within management lays internal controls, which includes succession planning as a key component. “The existence of a detailed succession plan that provides trained management personnel to step in at a moments notice is essential to the long-term stability of a credit union,” she said. Johnson acknowledged that it was not NCUA’s place to manage credit unions’ business decisions, but added, “I do recognize that together, we are stewards of the future of America’s credit union system.”

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