Matz Will Name Metsger Vice Chairman
NCUA Board Chairman Debbie Matz will name Board Member Rick Metsger vice chairman of the NCUA today, according to a press release obtained by CU Times.
According to industry sources that asked to remain unnamed, the appointment means Metsger could serve as chairman in the event Matz is unavailable or unable to perform her duties as chairman.
The Federal Credit Union Act does not mention a vice chairman position, but does say the chairman has the authority to delegate board duties at her discretion.
Historically, the vice chairman has been designated by a board vote. Rodney Hood was last voted vice chairman of the NCUA Board on Nov. 30, 2005. JoAnn Johnson was voted vice chairman on Jan. 15, 2003, which at led at the time by Chairman Dennis Dollar.
One industry source said the move could be an effort to sew up Metsger's support of the risk-based capital proposal, including support of Matz's opposition to a second comment period for the rule.
However, Mary Dunn, CUNA SVP & deputy general counsel, said Metsger’s new position would likely not have an impact on the trades' concerns regarding regulatory matters.
“Typically the agency has in the past had vice chairs and there’s a good working relationship between Rick Metsger and Debbie Matz. I don’t think that it’s going to probably have too much of a difference in the workings of the trades,” Dunn told CU Times on a Monday press call.
“It’s really, as much as anything, an internal and administrative issue and I don’t think it’s going to change our dealings with either the chairman or Rick Metsger,” she added.
“Mr. Metsger has proven to be a thoughtful regulator of credit unions and an engaged stakeholder," said NAFCU President/CEO Dan Berger. "We look forward to continuing to work with him and the entire agency to ensure a positive regulatory environment for credit unions, especially concerning the proposed risk-based capital rule.”
NCUA Public Affairs Specialist John Fairbanks confirmed that Metsger could serve as chairman in the event Matz is unavailable. Fairbanks also addressed reports the move means Metsger will be more likely to vote with Matz on issues that face the board.
"Each Board member votes according to her or his determination regarding the individual matters that come before them," Fairbanks told CU Times.
“Rick has built on his experience and knowledge as a legislative leader and a credit union board member to become a strong, objective, and thoughtful regulator,” Matz said in the leaked statement. “Rick is faithfully committed to our shared goal of protecting the safety and soundness of America’s credit unions and the 97 million members who count on NCUA to insure their funds. During his time on the board, Rick has stood firm on regulatory principles, asked insightful questions, and strived toward sound public policy in our board decisions.”
President Barack Obama nominated Metsger for the NCUA Board on May 16, 2013. His term will expire on Aug. 2, 2017. His new position as vice chairman will be effective immediately.
“I am honored by this appointment and grateful to Chairman Matz for placing her confidence in me,” Metsger said in the statement. “I look forward to continuing our work safeguarding the more than $1 trillion held by America’s credit unions in trust for their members.”
Prior to joining the NCUA Board, Metsger served in the Oregon State Senate from 1999 to 2011, which included chairing the Senate Business Committee. Metsger was named the Senate President Pro Tempore in 2009. He also served on the board of the Portland Teachers Credit Union.