Mon, Jul 1, 2013
Washington, District Of Columbia
NCUA Board nominee Rick Metsger told the Senate Banking Committee that "maintaining a safe and sound credit union system requires visionary, attentive and proactive leadership," and cited his credit union background as strengthening his ability "to critically examine and thoughtfully consider the arguments by all stakeholders before deciding on any regulatory course of action."
His remarks came during a June 27 confirmation hearing where Metsger, along with Federal Housing Finance Agency nominee Congressman Mel Watt (D-NC), Council of Economic Advisor chairman nominee Jason Furman, and two SEC nominees, faced questions about their views and regulatory philosophies. Metsger, a two-term Democratic state Senator from Oregon, was nominated May 17 to fill the NCUA Board seat vacated by Gigi Hyland. The term ends in August 2017.
In response to a question from Chairman Tim Johnson (D-SD) regarding lessons learned from the financial market crisis, Metsger identified interest-rate risk management, access to liquidity, and strong application of mortgage lending rules as his priorities. He also told Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) that Congress was the appropriate decider on increased member business lending thresholds for credit unions.
During his tenure in the Oregon Senate, Metsger was instrumental in passing a public funds bill that enables credit unions to accept deposits from the state, counties and municipalities. Metsger also served on the board of the $3.3 billion Portland Teachers CU (now OnPoint Community Credit Union), and eventually became vice chairman.
If Metsger is approved by the Senate Banking Committee, his nomination would be sent to the full Senate for a vote. Senate Banking staff suggest that the Committee could vote on Metsger's nomination in July, but would not speculate about when Senate floor action would occur.
Metsger commented that his NCUA service would be characterized by "regulatory action that is effectively targeted to achieve the desired outcome without placing unnecessary burden on credit unions themselves and, above all, maintains the confidence and trust the American public places in their local credit union...If confirmed, I will add a fresh set of eyes to policies old and new."