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New NCUA board member McWatters outlines action priorities
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (8/28/14)--J. Mark McWatters, one day after being sworn in as the newest National Credit Union Administration board member, has announced his top priorities for his term at the agency. In a statement, he named regulatory relief, transparency, accountability, supporting low-income credit union members and promoting greater industry diversity as among items high on his list.
J. Mark McWatters, the newest NCUA board member, is shown here at his Senate confirmation hearing. (CUNA Photo)

"In discharging my duties, I will always welcome advice and counsel from the broader credit union industry, as well as from the management and members of individual credit unions," McWatters said.

"I assure you that I will thoughtfully and respectfully consider your perspectives as I independently analyze the issues presented. While we may differ from time to time in our analysis and conclusions regarding the structure and scope of specific regulatory and administrative actions, I assure you that your voice will be heard and considered."

McWatters said his initial focus as a member of the NCUA board would be in five areas:
  • Providing regulatory relief for credit unions;

  • Incorporating a robust, objective, transparent and fully accountable cost-benefit analysis into NCUA's rulemaking and vetting process;

  • Recognizing the critical role and expanding the scope and financial viability of low-income credit unions within the financial services industry;

  • Enhancing the availability of affordable and readily understandable financial services to credit union members who are economically challenged; and

  • Promoting the role of women and persons of color within the credit union industry.
"Paying close attention to these and other critical issues affecting the credit union industry and providing a fresh, transparent and fully accountable approach toward NCUA's internal and external operations reflects my commitment to ensuring the safety and soundness of the credit union industry and protecting the Share Insurance Fund from losses while allowing credit unions to best serve their members and conduct their affairs through their exercise of prudent, fair-minded and autonomous business judgment," McWatters said.

Credit Union National Association interim President/CEO Bill Hampel said Tuesday that the association looks forward to meeting with McWatters once he is settled to discuss the agency's risk-based capital proposal, examination concerns, the need for regulatory relief and the agency's budget. Regulatory relief for credit unions is among CUNA's top priorities.

The NCUA has a full-time, three-member board appointed by the 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.  The NCUA chair is Debbie Matz, and the vice chair is Richard Metsger.


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