NCUA Board Member Mark McWatters Made a Difference

NCUA Board Member J. Mark McWatters term on the NCUA Board is coming to a close soon and I want to recognize and thank him for his leadership.  From the beginning of his tenure at NCUA, McWatters has been an advocate for progressive but common-sense regulation and oversight of the credit union movement.  He has understood that NCUA’s job is to regulate credit unions with “the lightest touch possible” while being focused on safety and soundness for the share insurance fund.  Recognizing that each dollar spent on compliance is one less dollar spent on serving their members, McWatters has been committed to minimizing the relentless flow of new regulations. 

A sample of McWatters’ accomplishments as Chair of NCUA include:

  • • Innovative leadership in closing the Temporary Corporate Credit Union Stabilization Fund (TCCUSF) and merging it with the NCUSIF.  This resulted in dividends being returned to 5,500+ credit unions who could use the funds to better serve their members.
  • • Instituted an 18-month exam cycle in well-run credit unions to allow the agency to better focus resources on credit unions in most need of regulatory review.
  • • Made sizeable investments in new technology and systems that allow the agency to carry out its examination and supervision program more efficiently and with a reduced regulatory footprint.
  • • Created a Regulatory Review Task Force that reviewed all agency regulations and advanced a four-year regulatory relief plan to reduce unnecessary regulatory burden so credit unions can focus their resources on returning value to their member owners.
  • • Restructured the agency by consolidating regional offices and implementing cost-saving measures in order to improve efficiency and effectiveness.
  • • Secured millions of dollars in funding for several hundred low-income designated credit unions from the Community Development Revolving Loan Fund. These funds were used by credit unions for digital services and security programs, as well as outreach to underserved areas.

McWatters’ actions demonstrated that regulation, supervision, examination, and enforcement should derive from transparent, fully accountable, tailored, and targeted rules and procedures that respect the ability of credit unions to make their own business decisions while allowing for innovation and growth that strengthens the credit union system.  I credit him for constantly soliciting feedback from credit unions to learn about the issues so he could be a more effective NCUA Board Member.

We are a stronger credit union movement and millions of Americans have benefited from greater access to credit unions through McWatters’ leadership at NCUA.

Ron McLean
President/CEO, Cooperative Credit Union Association