Research Tip: Bylaws; Shameless Plug for Supervisory Committees
Posted by Anthony Demangone
I cannot tell you exactly how many times I researched bylaw issues this year, but it has been a bunch. Â A federal credit union's bylaws touch upon so many important issues:
- Expulsion and limitation of services
- Par value requirements for members
- How a credit union sets up its lending program
- Training issues
- Indemnification issues
I could go on, but I think you get the point. Â With that in mind, here are a few things you should have handy.
- A fresh copy of your FCU's bylaws. Â You should have a hard copy near your desk or an electronic version saved to your computer. Â NCUA allows a good deal of variety when it comes to bylaws. Â A FCU is not required to adopt new provisions when NCUA issues a new set of standard bylaws, so you'll have to research your own set to get a definite answer for a given issue.
- Familiarize yourself with NCUA's federal credit union bylaws web page.Â Â Â This will have links to some of the more recent versions of NCUA's "model" or "standard" bylaws.Â
- There are also a good deal of bylaw amendment opinions located here. Â If you search NCUA's website and select "legal opinion," these don't seem to pop up for some reason. Â So it may be worth your time to review this area when researching a bylaws issue.
- Finally, don't forget to research the issue searching through NCUA's legal opinion letters.Â
Supervisory Committees. Â Every credit union has a supervisory committee, but you don't hear a bunch about this important part of a credit union's corporate structure. Â When NCUA issued its fiduciary duties rule, the fiduciary duties portion of the rule strangely didn't address duties for supervisory committee members. Â When researching issues related to this committee, the Holy Grail continues to be NCUA's Supervisory Committee Guide.Â Â Â Do your credit union a favor: Give every member of your credit union's supervisory committee a copy of this guide. Â Print it out and give it to them in a binder. Â In addition, you might want to send them the link to the guide that I provided in this blog post.Â
Speaking of Supervisory Committee Members. Â Â I always thought NAFCU could do more for supervisory committee members in the area of education. Â Well, we finally devoted a large chunk of education time and resources for this important committee in this year's NAFCU Annual Conference. Â You may want to forward this post to your supervisory committee members and have them review the educational sessions designed just for them.Â