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WASHINGTON-A Bankers System survey has found that the most commonly cited compliance issue for credit unions is simply the sheer volume of changes to regulations. The 300 higher level credit union respondents, with an average of 22.6 years experience, were asked two open-ended questions to garner what truly are the top issues facing credit unions and, more specifically, their greatest compliance concerns. Of all issues, keeping up with compliance and regulatory changes ranked third among the others at 22%. Topping the list was profitability, interest rates, reduced margins, etc. at 26%. However, keeping up with changes beat out any one compliance challenge among respondents at 29%. In the 2002 study, these responses were at 21%, according to Bankers Systems Inc. Market Segment Manager Susan Pogatschnik. The second issue appearing on the list was Check 21 (16%), third USA PATRIOT Act (15%), then privacy (8%), and finally Office of Foreign Asset Control requirements (8%). However, regulations like Check 21 and the PATRIOT are contributing to keeping up with compliance being a top concern, Pogatschnik said. “Basically why we surveyed the credit unions is that it helps us to better understand what the market concerns are and helps us build better products and solutions for credit unions,” Pogatschnik explained. Bankers Systems provides services to approximately one-third of all credit unions. The organization first conducted the study in 2002 as they began to gain credit union clients. “I think we also find sharing that information-after we have it-is helpful for the credit unions to realize that maybe they’re not alone, that their main challenges are shared by fellow credit union managers and so forth,” Bankers Systems Director of Corporate Communications Peggy Wilson said. The results really were not a surprise to Pogatschnik, who said they get calls on these issues all the time on their compliance support line and online service, complianceheadquarters.com. “When you take a look at the five most significant compliance issues facing credit unions today and you see that keeping up with the changing regulations, just the fast pace and the sheer amount of changes, is a top compliance concern for credit unions,” she explained. “That certainly isn’t a surprise.” Concerns over keeping up ran the spectrum from implementing the changes to the number of changes to deal with. “Once they’ve finished implementing one thing, there’s something else that pops up,” Pogatschnik said. The hot topic right now at Bankers Systems is Regulation V regarding negative credit reporting. Pogatschnik said her organization is recommending that credit unions educate themselves about the regulation and its impact. Then credit unions need to explore necessary operational changes, and finally decide how to implement those operational changes. Though Wilson and Pogatschnik would not go out on a limb about the number of regs out this year compared with years past they said, “It’s certainly been a very busy regulatory year.” [email protected]

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