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Risk Department

  • 1.  Risk Department

    Posted Sep 01, 2020 09:04 AM
    Good Afternoon,

    I am working on writing a recommendation for establishing a risk department in my Credit Union.  Please share anything you think will be helpful.

    Can you please share send any risk department job descriptions or department structures to me at

    If you do not have a risk department- where do the BSA functions live?

    What is your asset size?



    Rachael McCarthy
    Director of Member Solutions
    West Community CU
    O Fallon MO

  • 2.  RE: Risk Department

    Posted Sep 02, 2020 09:04 AM
    We are $1.2B assets. We have a Risk Management department which covers functions of:
    * Internal audit
    * Compliance
    * BSA
    * Fraud mitigation (some hands-on as well as working with charge-back & fraud staff in card functions)

    Positions include:
    * AVP-Risk Management (also serves primary internal audit role) -- Reports to CFO/Risk & Compliance Officer
    * Internal auditor
    * Compliance Specialist
    * Compliance Assistant
    * BSA Specialist
    * Fraud Control Specialist

    Beyond evident roles, this department functionally includes:
    * Fair lending platform administration
    * Audit and exam coordination & primary contact
    * Enterprise risk management (emerging role)
    * Coordination with I.T. for security audits
    * Vendor management
    * Preparation and/or delivery to appropriate staff of Risk Alerts and emerging compliance requirements
    * Coordination of Board policy reviews, and of compilation of operational procedures
    * Supervisory Committee reporting

    We do find occasional suggestions to move the Fraud Control Specialist into an operations role in card services, but since the position includes P2P, A2A, fraudulent checks and attempted scams against members, responding to subpoena requests, etc.,  it has proven better to keep that position at a CU-level rather than into a specific operational department. However, the success of that position is highly dependent upon frequent & high-quality collaboration with teller/deposit departments, digital banking operations, as well as debit/credit card & ATM operations.

    There can also be expectations for these functions to become "operationalized," such as the loan department suggesting that the risk management department should handle operational quality control by reviewing loans for compliance and document completion, etc.  It is important that this department generally retain an "audit" or review perspective. We have kept quality control staff in the appropriate operational departments, holding them accountable for their own quality and accuracy.

    We actively cross-train for redundancy and we utilize positions within the risk management department to assist each other. For instance, our Fraud Specialist will participate in branch audits, or one of the other positions is cross-trained for daily BSA processes.

    By the way, we use Abrigo (originally Banker's Toolbox) for BSA (which we like far better than Verafin), use Ncontracts for vendor management, business continuity planning & ERM.

    Good luck in your venture/proposal.

    Paul Meissner CCUE, MBA
    Chief Financial (and Risk/Compliance) Officer
    Credit Union of America
    Wichita KS

  • 3.  RE: Risk Department

    Posted Sep 03, 2020 08:13 AM

    Good morning all!

    We are planning to develop a job shadowing and/or mentorship program to assist staff in their career development.  Another purpose for providing this program would be to give employees an opportunity to learn more about what other employees do on a daily basis (to increase appreciation across departments).  If anyone has a program in place and would be willing to share information on it or chat about it I would appreciate it.



    Kim Westphal


    HomeTown Credit Union

    2400 W Bridge St, Owatonna, MN 55060




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  • 4.  RE: Risk Department

    Posted Sep 04, 2020 09:53 AM
    Good Morning Everyone,

    I would also very much appreciate any information that you are willing to share on a Mentorship Program that assists staff with their career development.  We are also wanting to implement this type of program, especially to increase appreciation for other departments.
    Any information that can be shared would be greatly appreciated!

    Thank you,

    Savannah Burruel
    Training Specialist