Matz: Thanks and Let Me Clarify
I truly appreciate Mike Welch's gracious column ("Debbie Matz will exit NCUA much stronger," CU Times, August 17). Indeed, during my term on the NCUA Board, I have so enjoyed getting to know credit union officials across the nation and have been so impressed by their commitment to serve their communities and reach new members from all walks of life. However, I feel compelled to set the record straight on one statement in the column. I am not aware of any items - including community charter applications - that have been kept off of the NCUA Board agenda in order to prevent a tie vote. In my first three years on the NCUA Board, 41 community charter applications were placed on the agenda. Of those, I voted in favor of 37, abstained from one, and opposed three. The last community charter I opposed was Tooele Federal Credit Union in Utah, which the NCUA Board approved on a 2-1 vote in May, 2003. However, in December, 2004, the U.S. District Court in Utah ruled that the NCUA Board should not have approved Tooele's charter. This ruling certainly has had a chilling effect. Since then, not one community charter application has been brought to the NCUA Board. As I look back, I am extremely proud of what we have accomplished this year with a two-person Board. Amongst other things, we finalized what I believe are the strongest consumer protection rules ever promulgated by NCUA - protecting the rights of credit union members to receive accurate and complete information before voting on conversions to private insurance or mutual savings banks. And in our most recent Board meeting, we proposed a rule that would extend RegFlex benefits to more credit unions and another rule that would strengthen low-income credit unions' ability to raise secondary capital to provide needed services to their members. I believe as a result of actions taken by the Board during my tenure, credit unions are well positioned to reach millions more new members in the future. Again, I thank Mike Welch for his kind words. Debbie Matz Board Member NCUA Alexandria, Va.