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Trump names McWatters acting NCUA chairman

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Trump names McWatters acting NCUA chairman

President Donald Trump has named J. Mark McWatters as the new chairman of the National Credit Union Administration board.

McWatters, a Republican, replaces Democrat Rick Metsger, who was named chairman in May 2016, after being elected as vice chairman in September 2014.

In a statement, McWatters said he is committed to bringing regulatory relief to the extent permitted by law and to protecting the deposits of the more than 106 million Americans who rely on federally insured credit unions.

Trump still needs to make an appointment to fill the NCUA board seat vacated in April 2016 by former Chairman Debbie Matz. The board has been operating with two members since then. President Barack Obama in July 2016 nominated John Herrera to the NCUA board, but he was never confirmed by the Senate.

CU Today reported Jan. 26 that there has been speculation that former NCUA chairman Michael Fryzel could be reappointed. Fryzel has been serving as the lead on Trump's NCUA transition team.

McWatters has been on the NCUA board since August 2014. His term runs to Aug. 2, 2019. He was nominated by President Obama in January 2016 to be a board member of the Export-Import Bank of the United States, but no action was ever taken on his confirmation.

Metsger joined the NCUA board in August 2013. He will remain on the board, but his term comes due in August.

Credit Union National Association President and CEO Jim Nussle said the group looks forward to working with McWatters on improving the efficiency of the agency and "increasing flexibility for well-managed credit unions while maintaining principles of safety and soundness."

National Association of State Credit Union Supervisors President and CEO Lucy Ito said the selection of McWatters is a welcome choice to lead the NCUA board. "As a member of the board, he has displayed an intricate knowledge of the law and regulations affecting credit unions, as well as the ever-more complex accounting rules they must follow," she said.