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: Now that we’re on the other side of the financial crisis, what are your thoughts on how the recovery worked out for credit unions?
A: I have to say that the reality has greatly exceeded my expectations. When I came on, return on assets was probably less than 30 basis points. I probably would have been happy if, six years later, it was 40 basis points, and here we are at over 80 basis points. When I look at the metrics today, I’m delighted by the strong recovery.
In addition, when we were going through the corporate crisis and unfortunately had to charge credit unions assessments, I really didn’t dare to dream we might be at a point where not only did we not have to charge assessments anymore, but that there‘s a strong likelihood we will be providing rebates to credit unions.