The Six Must-Have Skills for Compliance Officers

CUs must buy, build or partner to meet regulatory compliance needs.

November 18, 2012
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Preparing for changes in today’s regulatory environment demands different skills of regulatory compliance staff, attendees of the CUNA Lending Council annual conference were told Monday by Bill Klewin and Lauren Calhoun, of CUNA Mutual Group

“The role of the compliance officer is changing and finding staff with the right skills is a higher priority than ever before. A critical component to managing all of the complex regulatory changes will be finding competent compliance staff and giving them the tools and resources to upgrade their skills and influence,” says Klewin, director of regulatory compliance. 

Every compliance officer should have these six skills.

A key question facing credit union managers is how and where to find staff with these skills. Klewin believes credit unions have three options to upgrade the skills of their compliance staff. They can buy, build or partner with others.

Buying, or hiring, someone who already has these skills is very expensive because they're in great demand. Building the skills in current staff takes time and is a risk because of turnover. Outsourcing the entire compliance operation doesn't position credit unions well for the long-term.

Most credit unions will likely need to do a combination of all three to meet their needs.

Calhoun, regulatory compliance manager, also provided an update on lending compliance issues on the horizon in 2013. 

“Depending on the timing of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's (CFPB) final regulations, 2013 could be the year of mortgage compliance changes for credit unions,” says Calhoun. 

The CFPB has issued seven proposed mortgage rules, each with comment period closing dates in October or November. The majority of these rules will be issued in final form by the end of 2012 or in January 2013, while one or two others will come later in the year.

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