WASHINGTON (6/19/14, UPDATED 2:32 p.m. ET)--The U.S. Senate today confirmed J. Mark McWatters to the National Credit Union Administration board. He will join NCUA Chair Debbie Matz and board member Rick Metsger to form the three-person board.
"Our congratulations to board member McWatters on his confirmation by the U.S. Senate to serve on the NCUA board," said Bill Hampel, interim president/CEO of the Credit Union National Association. "His extensive experience in business, the private practice of law, teaching, congressional staff work, and other endeavors will help him bring a unique perspective to the issues. We at CUNA look forward to discussing a range of issues with Mr. McWatters, including the importance of a strong safety and soundness regulator, while at the same time providing much needed regulatory relief for credit unions."
On June 12, CUNA sent a letter to Sens. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), urging the Senate to schedule a vote on McWatters so the board would have a full contingent as it considers comments on its risk-based capital proposal.
McWatters, who was nominated by President Barack Obama in December, will serve a term that ends in August 2019.
McWatters replaces Michael Fryzel, who began his term in July 2008. Although Fryzel's term expired Aug. 2 of last year, the Republican on the board agreed to remain in service until his successor was confirmed.
Members of the NCUA are appointed by the U.S. president and confirmed by the Senate. No more than two board members can be from the same political party, and each member serves a staggered six-year term.
During his March nomination hearing before the Senate Banking Committee, McWatters said he intends to work with NCUA board members, agency staff and external stakeholders "in an open and respectful manner, with the goal of finding a common ground and working cooperatively through any differences."
Previously, McWatters served as a member of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) Congressional Oversight Panel, and prior to that he practiced for more than 25 years as a domestic and cross-border tax, corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions attorney.
McWatters received his J.D. degree from the University of Texas School of Law, a master of laws degree from Columbia University School of Law and a master of laws degree in taxation from New York University School of Law.