Wednesday, July 24, 2024
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NCUA chairman: Your next regulator?

The American Banker newspaper is reporting President Trump is considering J. Mark McWatters as a possible nominee to be the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. McWatters is currently the chairman of the National Credit Union Administration, the federal agency that is responsible for regulating the nation’s credit  unions.

“I don’t think most people have any idea about the tax-exempt status of credit unions (credit unions do not pay federal or state income taxes) and why community banks are so concerned,” said OBA President Roger Beverage.  “Instead of conducting itself as a real regulatory agency, the NCUA serves primarily as the credit unions’ biggest cheerleader.

“It’s hard to imagine how an industry ‘cheerleader’ can, at the same time, also serve as its primary regulatory agency,” Beverage said. “Moreover, McWatters has recently used his NCUA position to attack community banks, who ask for nothing more than a level playing field and fair competition. It’s clear he does not believe community banks should even exist.

“Appointing him to this position would be seen as an endorsement of his rogue actions,” he said. “Any honest and disinterested observer has to wonder what more he will do if he were to become the most powerful individual federal regulator ever created in the United States. In that role he would lead the most powerful federal agency Congress ever created, an agency that is answerable to no one, with an unlimited budget to attack traditional community banks and enhance the speed for eliminating an entire industry that has served greater Oklahoma and other states with success for generations.

“I plead with all Oklahomans who have even the slightest concern about the ever-expanding, unaccountable power of Washington generally, and this rogue agency in particular, to reject the idea of appointing an agency zealot like McWatters,” Beverage said. “I can’t think of a more disastrous combination – expanding and unaccountable power – that’s ever been imagined, not just for community banks, but for the American economy itself.”