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Final Thoughts from NCUA's Matz Before Leaving the Agency
Thursday, April 21, 2016 6:40 AM

National Credit Union Administration Chair Debbie Matz will conduct the last board meeting of her tenure today and will leave the agency April 30. CUNA's News Now had an opportunity to sit down with Matz to discuss her tenure, as well as her thoughts on the credit union system going forward.

Q: Of all the changes you helped implement during your time on the board, what do you think will have the most impact?

A: Through my regulatory modernization initiative we conducted really a sweeping overhaul of regulations and provided thousands of credit unions with relief in 21 different areas.

In particular, our recently finalized rules on member business lending and on fixed assets represent a new way of doing business for credit unions and for NCUA. Because they’re less prescriptive, credit union officials and their boards will have more flexibility to make their own business decisions.

I think that is revolutionary in terms of how we draft our regulations and the impact that it will have on the credit unions. It’s really important for the boards to be well educated, to understand that they need to play a big role in making the policy and to make sure that the policy is being implemented as it has been envisioned by the board.

Q: What would be your advice to the CEO of a small credit union?

A: I would advise them to have a viable strategy to attract millennials as members, because that’s their future.

I would advise them to take advantage of all the free assistance that NCUA’s Office of Small Credit Union Initiatives has to offer, such as webinars and training videos.

Maybe most importantly, they need to make sure their board of directors and supervisory committee understands their fiduciary duties, and they need to have effective internal controls.

Q: How does the idea of not-for-profit, member owned financial institution stay at the top of mind for people looking for options in the financial services market?

A: I think what is on top of people’s minds is affordability and accessibility. That structure, the not-for-profit, member-owned structure, permits credit unions to provide affordable credit to their members, and I think that’s the attractive part.

I really don’t think most people outside of credit unions and people who are credit union members have a sense of the member-owned not-for-profit aspect of credit unions. What they do know is that they like doing business at credit unions because they’re treated well, and they frequently get loans at lower interest rates and deposits at higher rates. I think that resonates with them. 

Read the entire interview with more Q&A.