WASHINGTON NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz, who tightened the regulatory screws when she took over at NCUA in 2009, assumed the role of de-regulator during CUNA’s Government Affairs Conference yesterday, saying the agency’s efforts now are aimed at reducing regulatory burden.
Matz told more than 4,000 GAC attendees recent efforts to expand the number of low-income designated credit unions and raising the asset threshold for small credit unions designation have delivered important regulatory relief for more than 1,000 credit unions. “Many of these changes are geared toward removing burdens and providing responsible regulatory relief,” Matz said.
Matz said NCUA is reacting now to big changes in the credit union industry, which has created big, sophisticated credit unions and created challenges for others to survive. “We’re modernizing and revitalizing NCUA for an industry that is newly vibrant, increasingly complex and rapidly changing,” Matz said. “NCUA is reassessing and retooling our business model. The rules of the road that guided credit unions in earlier decades may not meet your needs or your members’ needs today. We must stay ahead of the curve.”
Matz, who is in her second term on the NCUA Board, noted the extraordinary personnel changes that have occurred at NCUA since 2009, the height of the financial crisis, with several longtime department heads retiring and large staff turnover. During the past years, she said 75% of NCUA’s offices have a new director and 40% of examiners have fewer than five years of experience.
“Meanwhile,” she said. “We’re hiring with an eye for diverse skills and backgrounds. We’re not just hiring accounting majors anymore. We’re hiring folks with economics degrees, or specialized expertise in business loans, investments, capital markets, and complex information technology.”