WASHINGTON -- The White House has nominated Michael E. Fryzel, a former state credit union and bank regulator, to replace NCUA Chairman JoAnn Johnson.
Fryzel, currently a lawyer in Illinois with a practice that specializes in financial, regulatory and real estate law, next faces Senate confirmation.
From 1977-1989 Fryzel worked for the Illinois Department of Financial Institutions, where he served as department director from 1982-89. Previously, Fryzel served as supervisor in the department's consumer credit division and as an administrator and supervisor in the agency's other supervisory areas.
Fryzel's career has been one of primarily civil service and law with a smattering of legislative experience. Credit unions do not appear to have been a central core of his experience, though he served as legal counsel to the Midwest Association of Credit Unions prior to its merger with the Illinois Credit Union League and he has served as a consultant to the league. Fryzel's resume shows him licensing and regulating 700 state chartered CUs holding more than $4.3 billion in assets while he led the Illinois DFI.
He brings with him an experience different from that of Johnson--a former Iowa state legislator, former teacher and coach, and former family farmer.
"The opportunity to serve the President as a member and Chairman of the NCUA Board over the past six years has been an honor in every sense of the word," said Johnson, whose term ended last August. She added, "I wish Mr. Fryzel all the best as he prepares to lead the NCUA, and look forward to continuing in my capacity as Chairman during this interim period."
NCUA Vice Chairman Rodney Hood also welcomed Fryzel, calling his nomination a "stellar opportunity to provide outstanding leadership for the NCUA."
"I have reached out to Michael and offered him my congratulations and look forward to wholeheartedly supporting his leadership and stewardship of the NCUA," Hood said. "Furthermore, once he is confirmed, I look forward to continuing with my distinguished board members in support of President Bush's economic agenda."
CUNA President/CEO Dan Mica took the opportunity to thank Johnson for her service and welcome Fryzel. "Throughout her complete six-year tenure on the board, Chairman Johnson has shown both a commitment to the continued safety and soundness of credit unions on behalf of American consumers, as well as an affinity for the movement's philosophy of 'people helping people'," Mica said. "We appreciate the solid effort she has contributed as a credit union regulator. And we look forward to learning more from Mr. Fryzel about his thoughts on credit union regulation," he added.
NAFCU President Fred Becker called to congratulate Fryzel and to pledge his organization's assistance. "NAFCU stands ready to work with Mr. Fryzel by providing any background and support he may require throughout the confirmation process," Becker said. "We also look forward to continuing our work with NCUA under the current leadership of Chairman Johnson to ensure a positive regulatory environment for credit unions."
NASCUS, the only credit union organization to have had formal meetings with Fryzel during his time at the Illinois DFI, was also welcoming. "NASCUS congratulates Fryzel on the nomination to the NCUA Board," said NASCUS President/CEO Mary Martha Fortney. "Fryzel's state credit union regulatory experience will be a compliment to the NCUA Board and NASCUS looks forward to working with Fryzel upon his confirmation."
Johnson has served on the board since November 2001 and as chairman since May of 2004. Her tenure on the NCUA board oversaw the agency's journey through some of the stickiest of recent credit union issues, including the development of new regulations on member business lending, honing the agency's member disclosure rules during credit union to bank charter conversions, and facing the fallout from a judicial repeal of some of its field of membership rules. It was also a time when the agency lost the legal fight with then Texas-based Community Credit Union and OmniAmerican Credit Union over their conversions to mutual savings banks, but gained in both areas with its speedy response to congressional inquiries about credit unions' work with underserved members.