“Cooperative Spirit,” Board Member says, “Truly Makes America Great”
WASHINGTON (Feb. 28, 2017) – Modernized rules and a more efficient and responsive agency have been part of a “very productive and rewarding” turn at the helm of the National Credit Union Administration, NCUA Board Member and former Chairman Rick Metsger said today.
“It’s been a very productive and rewarding nine months,” Metsger said. “When I became NCUA’s Chairman, I had two options: play the role of placeholder, putting the agency on autopilot, or roll up my sleeves and press the accelerator to make changes that were in the best interests of American consumers and the agency.
“The choice, for me, was an easy one,” Metsger said. “The future of the credit union movement cannot be placed on autopilot. It requires leadership, action, and the courage to change when change is warranted.”
Metsger served as Chairman from May 2016, when former Chairman Debbie Matz stepped down, until January 2017, when J. Mark McWatters was named Acting Chairman. He spoke to a crowd of approximately 5,000 people at the Credit Union National Association’s annual Governmental Affairs Conference. His full speech text is available online here.
Metsger discussed his program of continual quality improvement and some of its accomplishments, including:
- Completion of a modernized field-of-membership rule;
- Implementation of a new member business lending rule and successfully defending that rule in court;
- Restoration and expansion of the agency’s public budget briefings and launching a series of public briefings on emerging credit union issues to increase transparency and accountability;
- Implementation of a more flexible examination schedule; and
- Issuance of an advance notice of proposed rulemaking to solicit stakeholder comments on a possible alternative capital rule.
Metsger acknowledged the “cooperation and commitment” of Acting Chairman McWatters during his tenure and thanked McWatters for “his steadfast support over the last year.
There is more work to be done, Metsger said, highlighting the need for Congress to repeal the member business lending cap so credit unions can do more to help small businesses, create jobs, and spur economic growth. The credit union business model, he said, has great potential to drive positive change.
“What truly makes America great is its people embracing, in both word and deed, the essence of the cooperative spirit,” Metsger said. “A fundamental belief that helping one another in time of need and financing our collective dreams and aspirations invariably pays dividends for ourselves as well as for others.”