NCUA’s McWatters and Metsger Speak at ‘REACH’

National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Board Chairman Mark McWatters (left) and NCUA Board Vice Chairman Rick Metsger (right) on stage during this years “REACH” convention.
National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Board Chairman Mark McWatters (left) and NCUA Board Vice Chairman Rick Metsger (right) on stage during this years “REACH” convention.

National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Board Chairman Mark McWatters and Board Vice Chairman Rick Metsger each made their own special mark on the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues' "REACH" convention last week as they presented their thoughts on NCUA leadership, guidance, operations, rules and regulations, and the agency's relationship with credit unions going forward.

Click here to see photos from "REACH"!

McWatters Discusses Recent NCUA Efforts
During Monday afternoon’s opening general session, McWatters discussed the regulatory reform agenda the agency is continuing to implement for federally-insured and chartered credit unions.

The NCUA is using a matrix to filter through which rules and regulations are efficient versus not, and which ones cost credit unions more or less in resources. He reiterated the agency’s efforts to “make sense” of rules with respect to congressional and constitutional intent.

“We are taking a top-to-bottom review of the agency,” McWatters said. “We want to create an agency that works more efficiently and effectively on your behalf.”

Metsger's Reg Meaning of 'R-E-A-C-H'
On Tuesday, Metsger addressed attendees on how important it is for the cooperative movement to work together to solve problems—and regulators too.

“At NCUA, if we want to advance the credit union system, we need to find solutions,” Metsger said. “There’s no political side to a cooperative. It truly is—and should be—about people helping people. You have different ideas, but you all have to help your members succeed.”

Using “REACH” as an acronym, he shared his thoughts on what each letter means to him:

  • “R” is for “Relevance.” As a regulator, the agency must make sure it remains relevant to the system. It must be willing to change. Within credit unions, relevance is extremely important as well. It’s about “how” you deliver products and services, because “how” you serve your members today isn’t going to be how you need to serve them tomorrow.
  • “E” is for “Efficiency, Effectiveness and Evolutionary.” The NCUA has implemented a full top-to-bottom review of regulations, rules and efficiencies. Moreover, “Is your credit union as efficient as it can be? How can you be more effective? Are you evolutionary?”
  • “A” is for “Asset Diversification.” Your credit union’s asset base needs to be diverse. The agency’s leaders don’t know what the future holds when it comes to the economy and future risks. So it has to make sure credit unions have an asset portfolio that is safe and sound, but also reflects the diversity of their members.
  • “C” is for “Capital.” You have to make sure your credit union stays open year after year to serve your members. You need capital—but sometimes you can have too much capital. It’s a balancing act.
  • “H” is for “Honor the Heritage of the Credit Union System.” Remember the heritage of why it’s so important to have a not-for-profit cooperative, and show this to your political leaders.

“This will guarantee that 110 million Americans have a cooperative still around for their future,” Metsger added. “As a regulator, if I may use a hockey example, we have to look at not where the puck is going but where it may go. As a credit union serving your members, I implore you: Don’t skate to where the puck is. Go to where your members are going next.”

For full REACH 2017 coverage, click here.

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