ALEXANDRIA, Va. (8/5/09)—Rodney Hood, recently reflecting on his term as National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) vice chairman, told News Now
that he believes one of his unique contributions to the NCUA and credit unions was bringing about a culture of enterprise risk management to the board and to the system overall.
NCUA vice chairman Rodney Hood, who will leave the board once Deborah Matz has been confirmed, urged credit unions to "tell their story" to draw new members to their ranks.
Hood, who in late 2005 took the spot vacated by former NCUA Chairman Dennis Dollar, agreed to stay past his terms expiration date of April 10, 2009 until a new board member is confirmed. As Deborah Matz’s expected confirmation to the agency nears, Hood talked to the Credit Union National Association’s News Now
about his board tenure. With the end of his term in sight, Hood urged credit unions to “continue to tell their story, to market their products, and to serve their members,” adding that now is the time to build on the positive momentum gained by recent increases in new share accounts and share deposits to grow market share for their institutions. Hood during the interview also hailed the success of the Blueprint 2020 program, which he marked as another hallmark of his time on the board. The program, which works with universities to create marketing, accounting, and other opportunities for interested college interns, is a “wonderful way of injecting talent into our system” and helps provide a succession plan for credit unions by bringing young people into the credit union movement as employees or, at a minimum, as members. The NCUA has also applied some of the lessons learned from the program to its own internship practices, according to Hood. While he admitted that there is still “a lot to be done” regarding the need for diversity within the credit union system, the NCUA can address this subject by “leading by example.” The fact that credit unions were “well positioned” coming into the current economic turbulence is helping them sustain themselves through what can be tough times. Still, Hood said, credit unions continue to do well in spite of the difficulties, with the number of shares in credit unions and, more generally, membership increasing as people hear about the failures of other financial institutions and opt to join a credit union. Recent improvements to the NCUA’s Centralized Liquidity Facility and the creation of a corporate stabilization fund will also help credit unions continue to serve their membership going forward, he said. While he supports the goal of consumer financial protections, Hood said that he is “troubled” by aspects of the proposed Consumer Financial Protection Agency that would take away some of the teeth from existing regulators. “I don’t see how this new group is going to be more effective than the groups” that work with institutions on a “day to day basis,” he added. Still, Hood said that “it bodes well” that the NCUA will remain independent under proposed changes to the federal financial regulatory structure, adding that the decision to allow the NCUA to retain its independence confirms that credit unions were not part of the problems that created the current financial difficulties. Hood said he is “excited” about welcoming Matz, who previously served on the board from 2002 until 2005, back to the NCUA. Hood said that the Obama administration’s nominee is an “excellent advocate for credit unions” who is “very attuned to the issues” that credit unions are facing. Hood said that he is currently exploring opportunities in the private sector, adding that he’s looking to stay in the financial services industry. News Now
will also feature a discussion with NCUA board member Gigi Hyland in the near future.