The nominee to head Oregon’s state agency with control over credit unions and banks said this week he hopes both will step up lending to aid depressed sectors of the economy.
Patrick Allen, a former banker who is slated for confirmation hearings in late January or February as director of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, also said he is eager to learn more about the CU business so he can have a better handle in overseeing supervision.
“I need absolutely to learn more,” said Allen, nominated this week to the agency job by Gov. John Kitzhaber. Allen is serving as acting head of DCBS, which is Oregon’s largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency.
The state unit has jurisdiction over a wide variety of business functions including occupational safety and building codes as well as financial institutions.
Allen, who said he hopes CUs will seize more loan opportunities to promote “a positive business climate”, also said he is aware of concerns by CU managers that too much regulation is “a one-size-fits-all.”
That approach “doesn’t make sense for credit unions or for state-chartered banks versus big national banks,” Allen noted. “The issue really needs to be the behavior we want more of — or less of.”
Allen has been with the agency since 2003 after spending 10 years in the banking industry, much of it as an officer with U.S. Bank.