Hyland’s Departure Means Change for the NCUA Board … Eventually
Credit unions shouldn’t look for a nomination to replace Board Member Gigi Hyland soon, said CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney.
Hyland announced her resignation on Sept. 20 after working more than a year since her six-year term expired. Her last day is Oct. 5.
Cheney said it was highly unlikely the Obama Administration would act before the election. He added that the position wouldn’t be worth the political heat Obama took when he appointed CFPB Director Richard Cordray while Congress was in recess. The administration's first nominee for that post, Carla Decker, withdrew her bid earlier this year.
California Credit Union League President/CEO Diana Dykstra observed that while replacing Hyland may be a high priority for credit unions, it’s not necessarily a high priority for the White House.
Former NCUA Board member turned consultant Dennis Dollar agreed, saying he didn’t expect Hyland’s position to be filled before next spring.
That delay will mean Board Chairman Debbie Matz, a Democrat, and Board Member Michael Fryzel, a Republican, will have to agree on new regulations and other board decisions until a third voter is in place.
Matz said she has a very collegial relationship with Fryzel, and that the two work well together and tend to be in sync when it comes to issues.
Matz did acknowledge that a two-member board sometimes requires more compromise to get two votes, and recalled her previous NCUA Board term when she and Republican JoAnn Johnson were left to work things out after Dollar left the board in 2004.
“We certainly moved a lot of items on our agenda,” Matz said about the experience.
Dollar called Matz and Fryzel consummate professionals who will handle the situation by acting decisively when they agree, seeking compromise when they can and if not, postponing action so, he said, “no major stalemates occur publicly until a third member comes along.”
NAFCU President/CEO Fred Becker pointed out that historically, when the board hasn’t voted unanimously, Hyland has cast dissenting board votes, while Matz and Fryzel have usually voted in sync.
However, Becker said, Fryzel and Matz don’t always agree, pointing to tabled regulations on CUSOs and loan participations as possible examples.
Carrie Hunt, NAFCU general counsel, added that Matz works hard to build consensus on issues before bringing them to a vote, and the NCUA has been vocal and accurate when predicting when rules would be brought to a vote.
So, when rules don’t make the board agenda as predicted, she said the industry can draw its own conclusion whether or not consensus was achieved.
Becker said the November presidential election could further reshape the NCUA Board if Republican candidate Mitt Romney wins. President Romney would presumably appoint Fryzel or a new board member to the chairman’s position, the NAFCU CEO said.