NCUA Board Member Michael Fryzel told Credit Union Times that he personally opposes the $1.6 million top-secret room the NCUA must create under a presidential executive order but said it is out of the agency’s control.
“This is something that we are mandated to do. We’ve been told by the presidential office of security that we must move forward with building this secure room. I’ve argued the point that I don’t think believe we need this type of secure room but of course that’s out of our control,” said Fryzel in a video interview after the NCUA November board meeting.
“We’re being told you must do this. We’ve estimated it to cost, I believe, Mary Ann, our budget officer, has estimated it to be $1.6 million to get it going. I kind of feel as with any government expenditure, it’s going to be more and probably in the area of $2.1 million and above,” he added.
Fryzel said the NCUA has to meet certain specifications for the establishment of a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility under the executive order, which is a cost credit unions will have to bear.
“It has to be monitored. It has to contain certain equipment. All of this costs money but it is an expense credit unions are going to have to bear because we’ve been told it must be done,” he said.
Fryzel also praised the $1.4 billion settlement with JP Morgan and the affect it has had on corporate assessments.
“As of right now, it looks like assessments may be over,” he said.
President George W. Bush nominated Fryzel to the NCUA board in 2007. He assumed office in 2008 following Senate confirmation. Credit Union Times asked Fryzel for his assessment of the current regulatory environment compared to when he started on the board.
“The CFPB, they are coming up with regulations on a monthly basis that credit unions and financial lenders and anybody in the financial business is going to have to comply with. I don’t see any drawback of that very quickly,” he said.
“I think the economy has to improve tremendously before Congress may say, ‘okay, we can ease off on some of these regulations but I can understand the concern of financial institutions having to deal with all these regulations. Some of them are smaller. They have to hire outside counsel to even interpret them so that they know what they do, what they must comply with but I don’t see that changing in any quick fashion.”