CUACG provides protection in wake of Wells Fargo scandal

Sen. Richard Shelby, R-AL, chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, decided Monday to hold committee hearings to determine from Wells Fargo how more than 2 million credit card and bank accounts were opened in the names of customers. Since 2011, Wells Fargo employees have set up credit cards without customers’ consent resulting in fines of $185 million, including $100 million levied by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

That sort of activity is diametrically opposed to the philosophy under which all credit unions operate with a motto of “Not for Profit, Not for Charity, But for Service.” Member account verifications are completed on a bi-annual basis as a requirement of the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) to ensure credit unions operate within ethics guidelines and with careful attention to regulations for which they are known.

That sort of activity that gives financial institutions a black-eye in the public image is diametrically opposed to the philosophy under which all credit unions operate with a motto of “Not for Profit, Not for Charity, But for Service.” Member account verifications are completed on a bi-annual basis as a requirement of the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) to ensure credit unions operate within the ethics and with careful attention to regulations for which they are known.

Further, having a third-party scrutinize records for regulatory compliance before the NCUA or State Regulator examinations provides the additional peace of mind each credit union needs to ensure their operation is sound.

CU Audit & Compliance Group (CUACG) has a skilled team of CPAs and credit union specific certified auditors who can provide the oversight credit unions need. Audit services include: supervisory committee audits, BSA audits, interim and internal audits, ACH audits, SAFE Act audit, Call Report filing, opinion audits, consumer loan or mortgage-lending audits, OFAC assessment, verification of member accounts, and website-compliance audits.

CUACG routinely confirms a sample of new loans, new accounts, and closed accounts during interim audits. Fraudulent account openings or closings could be detected at that time. During member account verification, 100 percent of accounts are verified.

The interim audit service can include a review of your credit union sales incentive plans to ensure the goals for credit union staff are realistic and attainable. Banking regulators reported that the widespread nature of illegal behavior showed that Wells Fargo lacked the necessary controls and oversight of its employees, who were trying to reach company goals.

“Unchecked incentives can lead to serious consumer harm, and that is what happened here,” said Richard Cordray, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

With ever-changing regulatory requirements — managing increasingly complex risk, improving operations and delivery to meet changing member needs — credit unions need a partner with expertise in daily compliance issues. Whether a CEO, a CFO, or a credit union board member, CUACG is that partner. CUACG is the largest credit union audit and compliance firm within the southeast, and the CUACG team is made up of credit union experts helping credit unions succeed.

Read more on Wells Fargo’s penalties at The New York Times.