NCUA Chair Debbie Matz to Step Down April 30

Debbie Matz began her service at NCUA 11 years ago, and became Chair in 2009–during the peak of the recession. At that time corporate credit unions were holding $50 billion in toxic assets which threatened the stability of the National Credit union Share Insurance Fund.

“We worked around the clock to prevent the collapse of the credit union system, when the outcome was really in doubt,” Matz said. “My top priority was to save as many credit unions as we could, minimize total losses, rebuild the Insurance Fund and stabilize the credit union system. We then focused on shoring up gaps in supervision, regulations, policies and procedures that threatened safety and soundness, and put new safeguards in place to stop the hemorrhaging and prevent the system from failing.”

Matz directed NCUA to become the first federal financial institutions regulator to sue the Wall Street firms that contributed to the Great Recession. NCUA’s recoveries from the lawsuits have reduced the total amount and need for assessments paid by consumer credit unions, and increased the likelihood of a future rebate, according to the agency.

“I am proud of all that NCUA has accomplished to bring stability, advance growth and promote flexibility in our nation’s credit unions,” Matz said. “Through the hard work of credit union officials and NCUA staff, the credit union system rebounded mightily from the depths of the Great Recession. Virtually every metric indicates the credit union system today is strong and resilient.”

NCUA Vice Chair Rick Metsger, an Oregon native, lauded Matz’s leadership.

“NCUA is fortunate to have had Chairman Matz’s steady hand on the tiller during challenging economic times for the credit union community,” said Metsger. “Her leadership brought stability to the system in the aftermath of the Great Recession. She also provided flexibility for credit unions to meet today’s changing economic conditions, so that they can continue to meet the financial needs of American consumers.”

Matz’s resignation was not entirely unexpected, considering her term officially ended in April 2015.  However, her decision to leave before a successor is nominated and confirmed could leave the NCUA Board in a difficult transitional period.  Matz and Metsger have often sharply disagreed with board member J. Mark McWatters over polices. McWatters is also expected to leave the NCUA board once his successor is named, as he has been nominated by President Obama to serve on the Export-Import Bank of the United States.

Read more about Matz’s announcement on the NCUA webpage

Questions about this story? Contact Lynn Heider: 503.350.2225, lheider@nwcua.org.

Posted in Advocacy News, NCUA.