McWatters champions public NCUA budget hearings

May 19, 2015

HERSHEY, Pa. (5/19/15)-NCUA board member J. Mark McWatters pledged to credit union leaders that he will “champion” the idea of public hearings on the National Credit Union Administration’s budget.

Speaking at the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association’s annual meeting Friday, he said hearings would lead to greater transparency and accountability for the agency.

 McWatters also publicly supported two CUNA-backed bills that would require the NCUA to open its budgetary process to the public. 

“I champion the right of the regulated to speak to the regulator on the record regarding the expenditure of their limited resources,” McWatters said. “I reject the notion that budget hearings would merely constitute ‘dog and pony shows’ as a deeply cynical and flawed view. Speaking for myself, I would be honored to listen to and thoughtfully consider comments of the community on the budget and budgetary process. It's simply a matter of respect and professionalism evidenced through the lens of transparency and full accountability.”

CUNA has written in support of Senate and House bills (S. 924/H.R. 2287) that would require the NCUA to open its budget process to the public. Like McWatters, CUNA said an open process would increase agency transparency and accountability.

McWatters said, “With the strong visceral response within the agency against budget hearings, it seems that some expect masses of credit union community members to charge the NCUA ramparts with pitchforks and flaming torches to free themselves from regulatory serfdom. I, conversely, welcome all comments and criticism from the community.”

McWatters also discussed the need for a due process independent examination appeals process during his address.