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Announcing: With Flying Colors PODCAST

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Credit Union Exam Solutions

Episode 1

Hello, I'm Mark Treichel and you are listening to my new podcast With Flying Colors.

This is episode one (1), which I'm calling Credit Union Exam Solutions by Mark Treichel.

Generally speaking on this podcast, I will interview subject matter experts who will provide credit unions with tips on how you can achieve success with NCUA and thus pass your examination With Flying Colors.

On this episode, it's just me.

And I'm going to talk a little bit about my career at NCUA and what I've been doing since then and how that led to this podcast.

I started with NCUA in 1986. I was there for nearly 34 years. I started at the bottom as an Examiner in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I served in many positions, including Problem Case Officer, Supervisory Examiner, Director of Special Actions, Director of Insurance, Director of Risk Management, Associate Regional Director of Operations in the Albany office.

In 2000, I went to the central office and served as the Deputy Executive Director for three years, followed that with 10 years as the Regional Director in Albany. I also worked on the corporate crisis during that stint. Then I ended my career as the Executive Director for my last eight years at NCUA until I retired in 2020.

During that time. I either held every position that you deal with during your examination, or I supervised every position and thus, I've got a pretty good background from an exam perspective. I've also got contacts and subcontractors that assist me now that I'm consulting, but I'm getting a little bit ahead of myself.

I retired. I always thought I would do a little bit of consulting. And I learned something from my dad who worked, for 34 years at Northwestern Bell and at ATT and he never did consult. He got called quite a bit. And later in life, he told me that the call stopped coming after two years. So I never forgot that when I retired, I knew that if I wanted to consult, I needed to take a very short time off.

Even though I had others telling me, you know, take six months, take a year. So what I did is I took two months off, which happened to be also in the height of this pandemic. In the time I took off I did a lot of yard work, and I started embracing podcasts about consulting and kind of went “all in” on consulting to just see what it is I could do to assist credit unions.

So I quickly picked up some clients and I've learned, as somebody said, I can be as busy as I want to be. So along the way having been all around the country and having served in so many different positions at NCUA, I met the best and brightest staff of NCUA and supervised them. They helped me run the agency and many of those folks have retired and as people retire after they retire, I approached them about assisting me in my consulting work.

I have three former NCUA staff that helped me during 2021 as subcontractors. We have about 130 hundred and 40 years of experience in the industry.

I have two additional NCUA retirees that will be joining me here very soon and a couple other folks that I've, that I've come across along the way that actually were not at NCUA -- that worked out in credit unions.

All of these folks assist me in what I do to help credit unions.

What have I done in my time period since leaving NCUA?

Well, I put a chart together of all the services that I touched on or provided or things that credit union sought out from me. I'm just going to highlight a few of these:

I have a lot of credit unions that come to me for an examination review, whether that's a review of an exam that just happened, a review that's in process or a review that might be a down the road.

CAMEL ratings are a topic that credit unions are very interested in. I've had a lot of discussions with credit unions about CAMEL and assisted them in negotiating their CAMEL ratings.

I have credit unions that hire me for retainers that wrap around an examination so that my team and I can be available to assist you during the examination.

I've been hired to lobby or talk to NCUA to help credit unions get approval.

I've worked on a lot of secondary capital applications with another organization that does a lot of work in secondary capital. I've attended joint conferences and listen in on joint conferences (with NCUA and state approval) again, to help credit union understand and interpret what NCUA may be asking for.

So I could go on with another list of about 20 or 30 other things here that I've helped credit unions on specifically over the last year, those are some of the top things that I've done.

It's been a lot of fun. When I was at NCUA, I really enjoyed working with credit unions, whether I was a Supervisory Examiner, Examiner Director of Special Actions.

It was a lot of fun working with credit unions, where there was an issue that both sides wanted to resolve that could be resolved so that the credit union could go on and prosper and NCUA could go on and not come in and bother the credit union so much. There are a lot of examinations that go extremely well from start to finish.

Sometimes examinations can hit a rocky road and that can be for many reasons, it could be a misunderstanding on one side or the other. It can be miscommunication. It can be less than stellar communication. And it can be the use of the wrong word from one side of the other, or it could simply be somebody choosing words thinking they're clear and a credit union hearing different words.

Alot of what my team and I do is serve as a NCAA interpreter, if you will. So that when NCUA says a certain word as a regulator, it means something in the English language, it might mean something else and as a credit union CEO hearing that can take it to mean X when it really means Y.

So those are the different kinds of things that we've assisted on. And it's been a blast. And as I was going through 2021, deciding what else I might be able to do to assist credit unions. I decided that since I listened to a lot of podcasts, that one way for me to give back would be to talk about different exams topics on a podcast.

I mentioned that I have three former NCUA folks that I contract with that assist me when I'm working with credit unions. I'm going to interview them here and we've got a great list of topics coming up. Episodes will include several on commercial lending, net economic value and seaways new capital requirements, bank secrecy act appeals to NCUA up to the regional director level field just to name a few another that I have on the docket here soon will be what's the true cost of an examination because if an examination goes well, the cost is a little bit different. If the examination doesn't go well, if you don't get the camel code that you, earned or that you believe that you should have gotten, that can lead to NCUA coming in more often, and that can lead to substantial additional costs.

I've learned quite a bit about those costs in my one year consulting thus far. So that's it in a nutshell, I’ve got a lot of great episodes coming soon and I wanted to start episode One again, by just kind of saying a little bit about what it is that I'm doing now, what it is that I used to do and how I can assist you with your examination.

I hope that you'll be back for episode two and that's it. I'm Mark. Treichel and you are listening to With Flying Colors.


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