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ALEXANDRIA, Va.-NCUA Board Member Debbie Matz announced last week that she sent her letter of resignation to President George W. Bush effective the end of the month. Though a successor had yet to be named at press time, several sources familiar with the process said the official announcement was “imminent.” Citing the need to get on with her career since her official term on the board ended Aug. 2, Matz said she has sent her resignation to the president effective Sept. 30. Several knowledgeable sources have said that an announcement on the nomination of a new Democratic Board member is “imminent.” In her letter, Matz said, “it has been an honor to serve the nation in this capacity.” She expressed her gratitude to the President for “this extraordinary opportunity.” Matz said she did not have anything lined up at the time and said, “the ethics laws are so stringent, I can’t look or talk to anyone in the credit union community.” But she is not tying herself down to the credit union community alone for her professional future. “I’ll look at any interesting possibilities,” she said, though she has said that she plans to look in the private sector after more than 25 years of government service. “I have appreciated the opportunity to serve with Board Member Matz on the NCUA Board. She has been a champion for credit union service to Americans from all walks of life. Debbie has maintained a steadfast commitment to ensuring small credit unions grow and have long-term vitality in today’s ever-changing financial marketplace. Our close working relationship on initiatives such as enhancing the member business lending rule produced great results in credit unions being able to extend greater access to credit and capital for America’s small businesses,” NCUA Chairman JoAnn Johnson said. She wished Matz the very best moving forward. CUNA President and CEO Dan Mica called Matz “an effective regulator who leaves behind a solid record of accomplishment. Her work on member business lending issues, for example, illustrates her ability to emphasize safety and soundness priorities while responding to credit unions’ need for flexibility in their operations. Her signature PALS initiative has proven to be a beneficial resource, highlighting innovative programs for serving people of modest means and educating consumers, the media and policy makers about all credit unions do to fulfill this important part of their mission.” Credit unions have been “very well-served by Debbie Matz’ tenure,” NAFCU General Counsel Bill Donovan commented. “Her commitment to the basic values upon which the credit union movement was founded, coupled with her thoughtful approach in dealing with issues and her willingness to listen to those whose views differed from her own, will long be remembered by those who worked with her and the agency on a day-to-day basis.” Matz added that she “views credit unions as a vital component of the financial services sector and she remains optimistic that credit unions will survive and thrive well into the future.” Matz said she hoped another board member could be confirmed before the October board meeting. She anticipates a nomination “very soon.” Others privy to the matters of the NCUA Board agreed. Former NCUA Chairman Dennis Dollar has said he expects that Hurricane Katrina could speed up the confirmation process for the soon-to-be two empty NCUA Board seats so that there is a full complement on the board for safety and soundness. Some have said the nomination of Empire Corporate General Counsel GiGi Hyland is likely in the next week or two. Her background check is complete sources have said and she simply is awaiting an official nomination, after which Hyland would need Senate confirmation. According to Senate Banking Committee Press Secretary Andrew Gray, nomination hearings are not scheduled for the open NCUA slots. He pointed to several Commerce and Housing and Urban Development Department nominations the committee was to hold late last week, and said that hearings for Treasury nominees were expected shortly. “We try to move on nominations as quickly as we can.When they’re ready for action we try to move as quickly as possible,” Gray said. He added, “We’re looking to schedule more hearings as we move forward.” NCUA Board nominee Rodney Hood’s nomination has sat in the committee’s hands since May, but many in the credit union community have speculated that he would run through the nomination process along side the Democratic nominee to help grease any partisan wheels. Though Hood, who currently works at the Department of Agriculture, has been named to Dollar’s old seat, he will likely be shifted to the seat Matz is vacating. Matz’ seat has nearly the full six-year term left to it, while the Dollar seat has less than four years left to it. Disasters like Katrina, Dollar said, “makes the case to have all of your boards properly constituted.” Having three members on the board will help with policy issues if they arise, he pointed out, like if temporary regulatory relief is granted for impacted credit union for items like Prompt Corrective Action or the fixed assets cap. NAFCU Director of Regulatory Affairs Gwen Baker echoed, “It would certainly be good for the agency to be fully staffed, particularly because of what they are having to go through right now.” NCUA Director of External Affairs Nicholas Owens said, “It is premature to speculate on an October Board meeting (with only one board member).” He emphasized that though he had not heard of nomination hearings scheduled yet, the NCUA appointments are a priority for the president. Dollar presided over a board meeting in January 2002, in which he was the only board member, awaiting Johnson and Matz joining the board. He only entertained the quarterly insurance fund report, but if something of great importance had arisen, he had the authority to take action, he had said. “NAFCU hopes that the Senate will move forward to confirm Rodney Hood,” President and CEO Fred Becker said, “and that the President will nominate someone to fill the remaining seat on the NCUA Board. In the interim, we are confident that Chairman Johnson can do a superb job in administering the agency.” [email protected]

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