Harper tapped credit union regulator chairman; Hood to remain on board as member

President Joe Biden has designated Todd Harper as chairman of National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Board, the agency announced Monday.

“The credit union system now sits at the intersection of several crossroads, and the agency faces many decisions ahead related to the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic and the need to advance economic equality and justice,” Harper said in a statement. “As NCUA Board Chairman, I will continue to focus on four policy priorities: capital and liquidity, consumer financial protection, cybersecurity, and diversity, equity and economic inclusion. Each of these priorities are vital in responding to current economic and marketplace realities.”

Harper, now the 12th chairman at the agency, was nominated to the NCUA Board in February 2019 and was seated that April. His term expires this April, but he could continue to serve in a holdover capacity until a successor is confirmed.

As chairman, he succeeds Rodney Hood, who remains as a board member. Harper is the lone Democrat on the board, serving alongside Republicans Hood and Kyle Hauptman. Hood in January designated Hauptman as vice chairman. Hauptman joined the board in December, succeeding J. Mark McWatters.

Prior to joining the NCUA Board, Harper served as director of the agency’s Office of Public and Congressional Affairs and chief policy advisor to former Chairman Debbie Matz and Rick Metsger. He is the first member of the NCUA staff to become an NCUA Board member and chairman.

Harper holds an undergraduate degree in business analysis from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business and a graduate degree in public policy from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.

Before joining the NCUA, he worked for the U.S. House of Representatives as staff director for the Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Insurance, and Government-Sponsored Enterprises and as legislative director and senior legislative assistant to former Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D-Pa.). The NCUA notes that in these roles, Harper contributed to every major financial services law from the enactment of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Financial Services Modernization Act in 1999 through the passage of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act in 2010.

During the Great Recession, the agency said, Harper coordinated the first congressional hearing to explore the creation of a Temporary Corporate Credit Union Stabilization Fund (TCCUSF) and spearheaded staff efforts in the U.S. House to secure enactment of a law to lower the costs of managing both that fund and the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF).

The TCCUSF was closed by the agency in 2017 after it repaid funds borrowed from Treasury for corporate stabilization. The fund’s remaining assets were transferred to the NCUSIF, at which point the NCUSIF’s “normal operating level” was raised to 1.39%; that target level has since been reduced to 1.38%. The last time the NCUA reported the fund equity ratio was last June, when the ratio had dropped to 1.22% amid rapid deposit growth in credit unions amid the coronavirus pandemic. A drop below 1.2% would have triggered a requirement for a restoration plan.

Harper Named NCUA Board Chairman