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Vendor management means CUs focus on strengths
LACY, Wash. (5/15/12)--Maintaining a strong compliance program is a complex process that can be difficult to prioritize on a daily basis, according to Paragon Consulting Group, a credit union service organization (CUSO) owned by TwinStar CU in Lacy, Wash. Ignoring any aspect of it can be a dangerous regulatory proposition, the CUSO said. 

"Bank and credit union regulators are watching this industry very closely," Paragon Vice President Sue Girsch told the Northwest Credit Union Association (Anthem May 10). "Outsourcing this side of credit union operations can be the easiest, best decision a financial institution can make in order to maintain compliance and good standing."

Girsch recalled asking an examiner if there were any particular advice for credit unions.

'"Tell them they need to open up the envelopes they receive from the vendors," the vendor told her. '"They didn't even have time to open letters,"' the vendor said.

Paragon's Vendor Management Program has a dedicated person doing all of the legwork and a software platform that allows its experts to contact vendors to gather and review company information for documentation and risk assessment.

Paragon researches and reviews all vendors doing business with their partners on an annual basis and then analyzes the partnerships' effectiveness.

"No vendor is a a panacea for all financial institutions," says Girsch. "We get all of the latest Securities Exchange Commission data on rulings and lawsuits so our partners have the latest vendor information."


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