Earlier this year, Central 1’s Treasury team identified five key themes that will potentially impact financial institutions’ decision making and performance in 2024. The first theme is heightened risk management. This theme emerged prominently as regulators take a more active role in overseeing risk management and governance leading to increased demands on financial institutions. Credit union Treasurers and Risk teams must collaborate closely to not only identify and understand risks, but also to establish robust policies, controls, and processes that effectively manage these risks.

Carol Ann Northcott, Chief Risk Officer at Central 1, recently hosted a panel focused on top-of-mind risks and how to make risk-informed decisions in today’s challenging landscape. Joined by Treasury leaders from across the provinces:

  • Jannine Scheurmann, Beem Credit Union (B.C.)
  • Vicki Davis, Westoba Credit Union (Manitoba)
  • Drake Reid, Motor City Community Credit Union (Ontario)
  • Tony Keown, Sunrise Credit Union (Manitoba)

Credit unions are developing comprehensive risk management strategies. Each panelist shared insights drawn from their regional regulatory framework, their challenges and some common themes. The discussions highlighted risks on the horizon, including credit risks, high interest rates, regulatory updates, climate risks, liquidity risks, and the aging demographic of credit union memberships.

Advice for risk management professionals

Recognizing that the risk landscape is constantly evolving and necessitates continuous learning and adaptation, our panelists reached a consensus on advice to risk and treasury professionals. Tony emphasized the dynamic nature of risk, stating, “It’s always changing.” This sentiment was echoed by Jannine who described risk as having many shades of grey and rarely being black and white. Vicki reflected the importance of adaptability, advising professionals to “be comfortable with an ever-changing world and try to learn and be ready.” From Drake: “You’re not going to have all the answers all the time, be comfortable with that.” Carol Ann concluded by highlighting the value of curiosity and encouraging risk professionals to “be profoundly curious.”

These pieces of advice underscore the importance of a proactive and integrated approach to risk management in today’s dynamic financial environment.

What can credit unions do to mitigate risks? This year’s Momentum will take this further by highlighting the potential risks and opportunities that lie ahead for credit unions. Join us and register now.

If you would like to explore our Treasury offerings and learn more about our educational materials:

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