Hood cites focus on modernizing FCU charter, capital reform, cyber security in opening his first board meeting as chair

McWatters, Harper emphasize commitment to bipartisanship

Rodney Hood, the newly installed chairman of the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Board, said in opening Thursday’s board meeting that he is looking forward as chairman to enhancing and modernizing the federal credit union (FCU) charter and addressing the issues of capital reform and cyber security.

Hood also said he wants to create opportunities for credit unions to serve vulnerable communities and to reduce regulatory burden.

Hood was returned to the agency recently after a nearly 10-year absence. He last served as an NCUA Board member from November 2005 to August 2009 and was nominated this January by President Donald Trump to a new term. Following confirmation, Hood was designated chairman by the president and sworn in to his board post by then-Chairman. J. Mark McWatters.

Before turning to the one agenda item for Thursday’s board meeting – an advance notice of proposed rulemaking on loan-related compensation (see story) – Hood took a few moments to praise McWatters for his leadership of the agency, citing actions such as the closing of the Temporary Corporate Credit Union Stabilization Fund (TCCUSF) and subsequent distribution to insured credit unions of some $900 million from the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF); providing transparency and accountability to credit union members during voluntary mergers; improving the appeals process; increasing use of off-site examination and supervision; the agency’s restructuring; and advocating for expanding credit union fields of membership.

McWatters was appreciative but emphasized that this work was a group endeavor that included the board, staff and stakeholders – that, and a commitment to bipartisanship.

“Whatever has been accomplished in the last two years, and also the nine months that Rick Metsger was chair, happened because of a bipartisan, collaborative effort” that involved all staff and allowed the best ideas to be taken up through debate, McWatters said. “Years ago, it would be like ‘we will brief this guy,’ and now, ‘we are going to argue with them.’ That is the best way to do it, and the best ideas are fulfilled that way. We actually accomplished something because we come up with principled arguments behind what we are advocating.”

Harper had praise for both McWatters and Hood, noting in particular Hood’s focus on community development. The first former agency staffer to be appointed to the NCUA Board, Harper said he believes NCUA should be forward-looking, innovative, inclusive and independent, risk-focused, engaged, and ready to act when needed. “I have committed to my fellow board members … to reach a bipartisan solution whenever possible,” Harper added. “I think we should also agree that it is the policy – not the politics – that should guide our decisions.”