When our credit union lends money to members, when it safeguards the members' savings, when it provides products like credit and debit cards, and when it educates members on how to manage finances, it is doing what it was established to do.
Compliance with laws and regulations does not directly benefit the members, and it has become a major activity. The credit union not only must comply but also must generate detailed reports to demonstrate that it is complying with laws and NCUA regulations.
There was a time when credit unions could pay dividends significantly higher than the interest paid by commercial banks, and they could make loans at rates below those of the banks. But that was before the regulatory burden became so great.
I agree with Jerry Cross, CEO of One Credit Union (CU Journal, Aug. 12, 2013). New NCUA examiners should spend some part of their training working inside a credit union. If they were to do that, perhaps they would understand the burden that compliance puts on the day-to-day operations of the credit unions they examine.
Ben Freudenreich, Director Emeritus
BMI FCU, Columbus, Ohio.