WASHINGTON - Former NCUA Board Member Geoff Bacino, currently nominated to the Federal Housing Finance Board, said during his confirmation hearing last week that his experience serving on the NCUA Board should translate to the new post if confirmed.
"I understand the need for a reasonable, rational regulator," he said. He pointed out that during his time at NCUA the board's policy went from a one-size-fits-all approach to one more adapted to different institutions' needs. True to form, Bacino made his usual baseball analogies, likening regulators to umpires calling the game but not playing.
Fielding a question from the committee's ranking member, Paul Sarbanes (D-Md.), the nominee emphasized the importance of transparency, a common theme during the Dennis Dollar administration at NCUA when Bacino served. "It is very important any time a regulatory agency goes along a path.I think you need comment from the stakeholders," he said.
Bacino also said that if he is confirmed he would push to hold public director elections for the Federal Home Loan Bank boards, which Sarbanes said will be 40% vacant by year end.
Wayne Allard (R-Colo.) asked Bacino and the other nominees being considered how they would measure and demonstrate results at their respective agencies. Bacino stated that having worked in strategic planning after leaving the NCUA Board he would work to ensure the banks were doing the lending they were chartered to do which would be easily measurable and advocate transparency of the FHFB's actions.
The FHFB has come under fire as a result of a review of the entire Government-Sponsored Enterprise system following accounting problems at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the ousting of former FHFB Chairman John Korsmo. However, New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez (D) said he still sees a need for the FHFB and "I hope you have a long-term engagement" to Bacino in opening remarks. -firstname.lastname@example.org