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HOUSTON — Twenty years ago, if asked what was the most important criteria for running a successful credit union, most would probably answer being well-capitalized.

That may have been the right answer back then and even today, but how times have changed. Given the tumultuous financial landscape, ensuring safety and soundness at the management level has shot to the top of the list, said Alonzo Swann, NCUA Region III director, told attendees at the African American Credit Union Coalition’s annual meeting.

The rest of Swann’s top five list is the liquidity part of asset-liability management, asset quality, earnings and capital coming in dead last. With that said, capital, asset quality, management, earnings and liquidity or overall CAMEL ratings are probably not the most pressing concern for credit unions right now. Navigating in a troubled economy takes precedence, he believes.

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