WASHINGTON (6/20/14)--The U.S. Senate confirmed J. Mark McWatters Thursday to the
J. Mark McWatters (right) shakes hands with Sen. Mike Crapo of Idaho, ranking Republican member of the Senate Banking Committee, prior to that panel's confirmation hearing for McWatters. Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) is in the background. (CUNA Photo)
National Credit Union Administration board. He will join NCUA Chair Debbie Matz and board member Rick Metsger to form the three-person board.
Matz said of the newest board member, "Mark is experienced, thoughtful, judicious and values a collaborative process to get things done. I know credit unions and their members will be well served by his presence on the board."
She noted that as she welcomes McWatters to the board, she also says farewell to board member Michael Fryzel. "For the last five years, I have considered Mike a partner in the agency's efforts to contain the fallout from the corporate credit union crisis and mitigate the effects of the Great Recession. Credit unions were well served by his judgment during some very dark days, and he left the system better than he found it. I wish Mike all the best in his future endeavors."
Bill Hampel, interim president/CEO of the Credit Union National Association, offered CUNA's congratulations to McWatters. Hampel said Thursday, "His extensive experience in business, the private practice of law, teaching, congressional staff work, and other endeavors will help him bring a unique perspective to the issues.
"We at CUNA look forward to discussing a range of issues with Mr. McWatters, including the importance of a strong safety and soundness regulator, while at the same time providing much needed regulatory relief for credit unions."
On June 12, CUNA sent a letter to Sens. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), urging the Senate to schedule a vote on McWatters so the board would have a full contingent as it considers comments on its risk-based capital proposal.
McWatters, who was nominated by President Barack Obama in December, will serve a term that ends in August 2019.
McWatters will replace Fryzel--though likely not immediately. Fryzel began his term in July 2008. Although Fryzel's term expired Aug. 2 of last year, the Republican on the board agreed to remain in service until his successor was confirmed. Hampel also extended well wishes to outgoing board member Fryzel and commended him for his efforts to minimize the impact of the agency's stress testing rule and other concerns.
Members of the NCUA are appointed by the U.S. president and confirmed by the Senate. No more than two board members can be from the same political party, and each member serves a staggered six-year term.
During his March nomination hearing before the Senate Banking Committee, McWatters said he intends to work with NCUA board members, agency staff and external stakeholders "in an open and respectful manner, with the goal of finding a common ground and working cooperatively through any differences."
Previously, McWatters served as a member of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) Congressional Oversight Panel, and prior to that he practiced for more than 25 years as a domestic and cross-border tax, corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions attorney.
McWatters received his J.D. degree from the University of Texas School of Law, a master of laws degree from Columbia University School of Law and a master of laws degree in taxation from New York University School of Law.