The Federal Credit Union July-August 2012 : Page 27

A look at NAFCU’s talented regulatory compliance team B eing a ninja isn’t about wear-ing black, dropping down from a ceiling and slicing up everything in sight. It’s about having an unparalleled set of skills to draw upon when needed — and having the discipline, focus and agility to use those skills with great effectiveness. This is precisely what NAFCU had in mind when it began offering members the opportunity to “be a compliance ninja” in its current credit union compliance GPS advertisements. NAFCU knows what it takes to be a compliance ninja because its ace regu-latory compliance team members are ninjas themselves — this is a team whose peerless expertise has expanded and sharpened over the years as the regulatory challenges facing NAFCU members have mushroomed to intimidating proportions. Whether it’s fielding specific compliance questions from members over the phone or via email, teaching at NAFCU’s Regula-tory Compliance School, leading educa-tional webcasts or writing for NAFCU’s Compliance Blog, Book of Answers, the BSA Blast , TFCU ’s own Compliance Central or other publications, this team’s unique skill set is always on full display. Led by Steve Van Beek, NAFCU director of regulatory compliance, the compliance team includes three regulatory coun-sels — JiJi Bahhur, Bernadette Clair and Michael Coleman — and Shari Pogach, a regulatory paralegal. For this article, TFCU interviewed each team member to learn more about what makes NAFCU’s talented compliance ninjas tick. Steve: Officially, I’ve worked at NAFCU almost five years. Interning at NAFCU was a great experience as I had just finished doing a practical legal clinic for law school that focused on the regulatory process. Having that background made the transition pretty smooth. After my internship, there was a job opening in the compliance department and things just worked out. Since then, I’ve been focusing on helping credit unions comply with the numerous regulatory changes that have occurred over the past five years. TFCU: As director, you manage NAFCU’s Compliance Assistance Pro-gram. What can you tell us about it? Steve: First off — NAFCU is very fortunate to have JiJi, Bernadette, Mike and Shari provide great support to our members. We run a multi-faceted compliance assistance program because every credit union is unique. Some credit unions might need to talk to someone on the phone, whereas another might enjoy our compliance conferences, webcasts and publications. The feedback we get from members helps shape how our divi-sion operates. For example, we often get requests to blog or write a Compliance Monitor article on a particular topic. This helps us and helps members. We know we are writing about topics that are impor-tant to them. TFCU: Are there any resources that NAFCU’s compliance team offers that you wish NAFCU members took more advantage of? Steve: Our members are really tuned into what we provide, but I think there are some gems that credit unions could use more for ongoing research. For example, each month we write questions and answers for the Compliance Monitor . Then we put them into a resource we call the NAFCU Book of Answers, which now extends over 250 pages of Q and A’s — organized by topic. We are in the process of reviewing and editing the Book of Answers to ensure the past Q&A’s are still accurate. TFCU: What do you see as the biggest regulatory compliance hurdle facing credit unions? Steve: Truthfully, it isn’t one regulation or one issue. It’s this comprehensive pres-sure from multiple angles that makes life difficult for compliance officers at credit unions of all sizes. When regulators start Steve Van Beek, NAFCU’s director of regulatory compliance TFCU: Can you also talk a little about how you came to NAFCU? Didn’t you start as an intern? Truthfully, it isn’t one regulation or one issue. It’s this comprehensive pressure from multiple angles that makes life difficult for compliance officers at credit unions of all sizes. – STEVE VAN BEEK, NAFCU DIRECTOR OF REGULATORY COMPLIANCE ‘‘ ’’ THE FEDERAL CREDIT UNION JULY–AUGUST 2012 27

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