Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Shouldn’t Federal Credit Unions Be Required to Report on Governance Policies?

As part of its redesign of its Form 990, the Internal Revenue Service will require almost all not-for-profit organizations to provide greater detail about their corporate governance practices. Organizations, such as American Bankers Association, CUNA, and state-chartered credit unions, will be required to provide this information.

Federal credit unions, on the other hand, will not have to disclose this information because they are exempt from filing a Form 990.

The IRS, in justifying these additional disclosures, stated that “[g]ood governance and accountability practices provide safeguards to help ensure that the organization’s assets will be used consistently with its exempt purposes. This is a critical tax compliance consideration, especially for organizations that are subject to private benefit, excess benefit, and private inurement prohibitions. In addition, well-governed and well-managed organizations are more likely to be transparent with regard to their operations, finances, fundraising practices, and use of assets for exempt and unrelated purposes.”

The new Part VI, Governance, Management, and Disclosures, includes three sections: a) Governing Body and Management, b) Policies, and c) Disclosure. This information looks at “how and by whom an organization is governed, its governance and management policies and practices, certain relationships between or among its governing and management officials, and how the organization makes certain important information available to its constituents.”

For example, some of the questions appearing in Part VI are:

• Did any officer, director, trustee, or key employee have a family relationship or a business relationship with any other officer, director, trustee, or key employee?
• Does the organization have a written conflict of interest policy?
• Are officers, directors or trustees, and key employees required to disclose annually interests that could give rise to conflicts?
• Does the organization have a written whistleblower policy?

To view Part VI, click on the image below.

There is not a sound public policy rationale for why federal credit unions should not disclose this information.

Since federal credit unions do not file a Form 990, NCUA should at least require federal credit unions to disclose the same information about their governance practices that other not-for-profit entities are required to file. This should not be that hard to do, since the IRS has already provided a template with the new Part VI.


  1. Of course, Dr. Leggett, you would support all banks - including privately held - providing the same information to the public?

  2. To the person (above) who always uses "Dr. Leggett" as an attention-getting face-slapper, why are you cowering behind anonymity? At least explain yourself. Do you fear reprisals? Loss of job? What is it? Why?

  3. The option is there, Mr. Pilcher, for anyone to submit an opinion anonymously. I myself like to use a fake name, and how the hell would you know that it's fake. In fact, Jeffry Pilcher's not exactly a household name in the credit union industry, so who's to say that you are using your real name???

    This is an Internet blog, and that's how the Internet works. Get over it. If you have something of substance to say, say it; and stop worrying about credentials.

  4. I use Dr. Leggett as a sign of respect for the person who has earned advance degrees. While I may not agree with him, he does have my respect. If that is a problem, then perhaps he should not use "Dr. Leggett" in his bio at the top of this page (which he does three times).

  5. I would guess loss of a job. You point is silly though, in general that is what happens when you write a blog - you get anonymous posts like this one...

    I would have thought that you would understand that as a master of branding. When you open up an open forum to the community you have to face an often faceless mass of critics.



The content is provided for educational purposes only, with the understanding that neither the authors, contributors, nor the publishers of this site are engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other expert or professional services. If legal or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought.

Comments appearing in response to articles appearing on this site do not necessarily reflect the views of the ABA. ABA makes no representations regarding the truth or accuracy of commentary or opinions that may be posted in response to the articles that appear on this website.

The inclusion herein of any link to a website, either in the text of an article or in a comment, does not denote any approval, sponsorship, or endorsement by the ABA, and ABA is not responsible for the content or opinions expressed on those linked websites or related commentary. This content is not licensed to third parties sites and is not affiliated with any third party site. Any reference to the author or this content on any third party site on the Internet is not authorized by the ABA.

It is the policy of the American Bankers Association to comply fully with all antitrust laws. Certain discussions should be considered off-limits, including those that contain competitively sensitive data such as price and cost information, or statements that could be construed as reflecting an attempt or desire to control or influence a particular market or markets. Future pricing or other prospective competitive information should never be shared.