Inside the GAC: Cheney Shares Strategic Vision, Matz Discusses Retooled NCUA
February 26, 2013
Feb. 26, 2013
Calling on credit unions to “Unite for Good,” Credit Union National Association (CUNA) President and CEO Bill Cheney unveiled a new strategic vision yesterday to 4,200 advocates attending the annual Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) in Washington, D.C. Cheney told delegates that one credit union story will resonate with lawmakers as well as with consumers.
The credit union difference, Cheney said, is the cooperative business model.
“Banks use people to make money,” he said. “Credit unions use money to help people. It’s a fundamental difference.”
NCUA’s Matz Introduces Agency More Responsive to Risks, Industry Challenges and Credit Unions Needs
The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) is retooling and modernizing to regulate and serve a more complex credit union industry, Board Chairman Debbie Matz told GAC delegates yesterday in her opening day keynote address.
Matz described the credit union movement’s growth since the Great Recession as being marked by rapid growth in assets, loans and membership, with credit unions offering more sophisticated products while growing their real estate and member business loan (MBL) portfolios. That growth creates more risks—and the need for prudent management of them.
The agency’s job, Matz said, is to make the road safer for everyone, noting that the regulator has an obligation to protect the industry and to help it grow.
“I wouldn’t want the credit union industry to be safeguarded by a regulator designed for the 1960s,” Matz said.
According to Matz, the NCUA is replacing retirees both with new blood from outside the agency and by promoting talent from within. She said in the new NCUA environment, 75 percent of the regional offices have new directors, and 40 percent of the examiners have been there fewer than five years. Matz said the agency is emphasizing a more diverse hiring background by, for example, recruiting employees with expertise in business lending and complex technology.
Valley Credit Union’s Members Receive Some of Nation’s Highest Direct Benefits
Valley Credit Union was recognized with a 2012 Member Benefits Performance Award at the CUNA GAC Monday for delivering some of the most valuable benefits to members in the nation.
According to CUNA Chief Economist Bill Hampel, Valley’s direct benefits performance was second highest in the country in the credit union’s asset size, with each member household realizing $262 in savings as the result of lower fees and loan rates than counterpart banks charge their customers.
“At Valley, providing excellent service and value to our members is at the heart of our mission,” said Jean Wheat-Palm, the credit union’s president and CEO. “While we are honored to be recognized, the real winners are Valley’s member-owners.”
Steve Pagenstecher, Valley’s vice president of member relations, accepted the award on behalf of his credit union.
“This is a shining sample of what we mean when we talk about the credit union difference, because what other financial services provider can put that kind of value back into the pockets of working moms, dads and families?” said Troy Stang, president and CEO of the Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA). “It’s an honor that Valley Credit Union is being recognized nationally. What’s most important is that Valley’s members are recognizing the real, tangible value of their cooperative, day in and day out.”
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