CU regulator nominees vow to protect safety and soundness, focus on transparency

Nominees for seats on the board of the federal credit union regulator both vowed to Senate Banking Committee members, during their joint confirmation hearing Thursday, that they would work to safeguard the continued safety and soundness of credit unions and protect the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF).

Rodney Hood E. Hood and Todd M. Harper are both nominees of President Donald Trump to seats on the three-member National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Board. Republican Hood would replace current Board Member Rick Metsger (a Democrat) to complete a six-year term that ends in August 2023. (Metsger’s term expired in 2017; he’s been serving as a holdover.) Democrat Harper would fill a vacant seat that was last occupied by former NCUA Board Chairman Debbie Matz (also a Democrat). If confirmed, Harper would complete a six-year term that ends in April 2021. Chairman J. Mark McWatters, a Republican, rounds out the board; his term ends in August of this year.

Hood, if confirmed, would serve a second term as an NCUA Board member (he previously served on the board from 2005-09, including as vice chairman), and he told the committee that he looked forward to returning. “My paramount responsibility will be ensuring the safe and sound operation of federally insured credit unions,” he said.

He said his “mindset” as a board member would be “risk-based and market-oriented,” with an emphasis on fairness and thoughtfulness, prudent use of resources, and transparency – including a pledge to work with Congress “to ensure the financial integrity of credit unions in an ever-changing and dynamic environment.”

Harper, if confirmed, would also be returning to the agency, where he served as a staff member for six years (leaving in 2017) as the agency’s chief liaison to Congress and as policy adviser to both Matz and Metsger, when the latter served as chairman for one year.

Aside from safety and soundness and protecting the insurance fund, Harper said his priority as a board member would be to preserve the integrity of the credit union industry “in a continually evolving and increasingly complex marketplace,” with a focus on issues of capital, liquidity, and cybersecurity – as well as prioritizing the agency’s consumer protection responsibilities, “consistent with the law.”

“In my view, financial regulators need to be fair and forward looking; innovative, inclusive, and independent; risk-focused and ready to act expeditiously when necessary; and appropriately engaged with all stakeholders to develop effective, but not excessive, regulation,” he said.

Testimony of Rodney E. Hood before the Senate Banking Committee

Testimony of Todd M. Harper before the Senate Banking Committee

RR: Spurred by reports of top officials’ spending, CU regulator nominees asked to align expense policies with other regulators (Feb. 14, 2019)