Concentration Risk

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CU officials and management have a fiduciary responsibility to identify, measure, monitor, and control concentration risk.  Concentration risk must be managed in conjunction with credit, interest rate and liquidity risks; as a negative event in any category may have significant consequences on the other areas, as well as strategic and reputation risks.

Concentration risk has increased in importance during the recent economic recession.  Poor risk management of residential and commercial mortgage loan concentrations, in particular, is having an adverse effect on credit unions nationwide; resulting in significant loan losses, earnings deterioration, capital depletion, and increased credit union failures.

The board of directors should establish a policy addressing its philosophy on concentration risk, limits commensurate with net worth levels, and the rationale as to how the limits fit into the credit union’s overall strategic plan.  Take a global perspective when developing the policy, including identifying outside forces (such as economic or housing price uncertainty) which will affect the ability to manage concentration risk.

The parameters set by the board should be specific to each portfolio and should include limits on loan types, share types, third party relationship exposure, etc.  The risk limits should correlate to the overall growth objectives, financial targets, and net worth plan.  The risk limits set forth in the concentration risk policy should be closely linked to those codified in related policies, including, but not limited to, real estate loan, member business loan, loan participation, asset/liability management (ALM), investment and liquidity policies.  Any Concentration exceeding 100 percent of net worth must be monitored carefully, and the board of directors should document an adequate rationale for undertaking that level of risk. More

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An Understanding of a Credit Union Net Worth Restoration Plan

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Due to recent declines in the equity markets, some credit unions may experience an increased flow of funds coming into their organization at a time of weak loan demand and low investment returns. This “flight-to-safety” for some credit unions could result in the need to submit a “Net Worth Restoration Plan”.

The Net Worth Restoration Plan commonly referred to as NWRP serves as a blueprint for the board and management to restore and maintain for four consecutive quarters the credit union’s net worth ratio to 6% or greater and to establish a financial framework for the 1/10th percent (0.1%) quarterly earnings waivers transfers.

Understanding the implications of the credit union having an inadequate level of net worth is important.  Your primary goal should be safeguarding the member’s deposits through sound policies and practices, and by creating and sustaining a sufficient amount of net worth and reserves to absorb possible losses without endangering the stability of the credit union.

Your plan needs to meet the criteria set forth in NCUA Rules and Regulations 702.206-NWRP including: More

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