Credit union concern over NCUA’s financial literacy rules for directors continued to peak Wednesday with CUNA now counting what it called a “huge” signup–1,800 participants–for an audio conference Thursday on the topic.

“This kind of registration rivals a couple we had on corporate stabilization last year,” said Todd Spiczenski, vice president of CUNA’s Center for Professional Development in Madison, who is coordinating the afternoon on-air seminar.

In addition to the 1,800 signups, he said, there are an additional 400 requesting tapes, to be distributed to CUs seeking info on the new rules which take effect Jan. 27 but with a six month lead time and requiring competency on basic finance and accounting practices. Part of the rules require directors to read and understand balance sheet and income statements.

For weeks, the new NCUA rules have generated some confusion and consternation in the industry since the agency announcement last month. Some critics have complained they seriously discourage volunteers from serving on CU boards and demean intelligence but the agency has insisted they are needed to align director education with economic changes.

Along with NAFCU, dozens of leagues have been ramping up education programs for directors with the North Carolina Credit Union League scheduling a series of 12 statewide seminars in six cities in March. And the New Jersey Credit Union League expects to utilize its newly formed “Directors Network Alliance” to help educate directors on the rules at a special dinner gathering tomorrow in Woodbridge.

Credit Union Times has also partnered with Stuart Levine and Associates to create the Credit Union Leadership Forum for director education.

As for the CUNA audio program, Spiczenski said panelists will include

Paul Paterson, NCUA associate general counsel; David Reed, an attorney; Tim Harrington, a Tucson, Ariz., CPA consultant, and John Wallace, director of CUNA Mutual’s Bond Coverage.