WASHINGTON (9/30/13)--The National Credit Union Administration can meet its regulatory responsibilities "while working to not unduly burden well-meaning credit unions," board member Richard Metsger said during a recent meeting of the Northwest Credit Union Association's Mt. Hood (Ore.) Chapter of Credit Unions.
"What the NCUA can do is avoid duplication of effort wherever possible and not create an unnecessary level of compliance. We can make rules clearer and more understandable," he said (Anthem Sept. 27)
Metsger, who is the first person from the Pacific Northwest to serve at the NCUA, said he hopes his distinctively Northwest perspective provides "a different prism that will add to the conversation" in Washington. In the Northwest, "you have a lot of small- to mid-size communities where smaller, local institutions thrive," he said.
The new board member said he wants to frequently meet with credit unions across the country "to hear what's really going on...Going around the country, dropping into credit unions, seeing how they're being impacted on the ground--that's important."
It is crucial, he said, "to have a good working understanding of the burden our rules place on large and small institutions that have differing abilities to handle compliance issues. In the regulatory environment, you have to be aware of that. And I think our board has shown that it is."
He said the agency's policy of reviewing one-third of its regulations each year is a "very progressive way of making sure that the regulations stay contemporary...Things change, and as a regulatory agency, the NCUA recognizes that."
Overall, job one for the NCUA is to make sure that credit unions can serve their members' financial needs "within the corral of the safety and soundness of the Share Insurance Fund." To meet this goal, credit unions should think of their regulators "not as the bad guys...but as partners who help them minimize risk by focusing on issues they might not have identified."