This week, NCUA issued two pieces of guidance concerning third party relationships.
NCUA issued a legal opinion that clarifies an issue surrounding contract reviews. As you may recall, NCUA recently issued Letter to Credit Union 07-CU-13, which provides guidance regarding third party relationships. In the guidance, NCUA recommended that credit unions have “qualified external legal counsel review prospective third-party arrangements and contracts.”
In NCUA Letter to Credit Unions 08-0147 (April 18, 2008), NCUA clarified that in-house counsel (an attorney working on the credit union's payroll) can perform the review if they are qualified.
Yes, in-house counsel may perform the recommended review, assuming, of course, that counsel has the experience for this purpose. In-house counsel, by definition, will focus on protecting the interests of the credit union and, thus, presumably will have the independence 07-CU-13 recommends.
Yesterday, NCUA also released Letter to Credit Union 08-CU-09, the purpose of which is to provide credit unions with the questionnaire that NCUA examiners will use to complete their evaluation of credit union third party relationships.
I have three words of advice: READ THAT GUIDANCE. I love the fact that NCUA releases their exam questionnaires. This is the equivalent of your history teacher giving you her exam questions before the big test. I remember my Towanda High School history teachers well. Mr. Victory. Mr. Fox. Mr. Sexton. Believe you me, they wouldn't have done this.
The Compliance Guy worked on the wedding seating chart last evening. Holy cow! By the end of the evening, I proposed to Mandy that we simply give everyone their own table to make things easier. She laughed.
I wasn't kidding.