CUs Seeking Out Legal, Regulatory Expertise To Deal With Surge In Agency Rulemaking

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SAN DIEGO-Unemployment numbers may still be high nationally, but credit unions are hiring-and they're hiring compliance officers.

As credit union struggle with multiple, overlapping regulations from multiple, overlapping agencies, they are hiring expertise to try to make sense of the muddle, according to Ted Bilke, president of Symitar, A Jack Henry Company.

"Things are gray. It is a very confusing compliance environment out there now," he said. "There is more conflict in the interpretation of regulations than I have seen in my 25 years in this industry."

Bilke said that many of Symitar's CU clients are not only hiring compliance officers, but attorneys to provide interpretation and guidance. What's also helping credit unions cope is collaboration. "We are seeing much more cooperation between credit unions," said Bilke.

Symitar, too, is part of the team effort, hosting quarterly compliance web meetings with its customers. Bilke explained that the forum is used to not only explain to credit unions how Symitar interprets a rule, but to get back validation from clients on its assessment.

"As credit unions are collaborating on these rules, they are coming to a group agreement on rule interpretations," stated Bilke. "We have not seen much of this before, where a group of credit unions agree and then go back to the NCUA audit community and say as a group this is the way they are choosing to interpret and comply with a rule. That seems to give them more leverage with NCUA."

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