Where does the CEO’s time go?


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Early in 2019, Swoboda members raised two issues that we decided to investigate through a survey. These issues were:

  1. The time and effort they spend managing regulatory and compliance issues, and
  2. The difficulty they have in cutting through day-to-day administrative tasks to focus on the future and moving the organisation forward.

The survey questions sought to bring out the information necessary to understand the scale of these issues across Swoboda members and other large credit unions in Britain and Ireland. We invited 62 CEOs from credit unions in Britain and Ireland to complete the survey, and received 44 complete responses (27 Swoboda members and 17 non-members).


In this paper we report these findings. We present the findings largely without analysis, as they speak for themselves. The headlines we would draw attention to are:

  • CEOs believe that lending and technology are the most pressing issues facing their credit unions
  • CEOs spend more time on day-to-day administration than they would like, and the most important activity to suffer is strategy and planning
  • The majority of CEOs actually consider the time they spend on compliance to be reasonable.

This report will be of interest to CEOs looking to understand peer perspectives, boards wanting insight into CEOs and compliance, and policy-makers seeking to understand how credit union leaders are managing their requirements.