Magazine article American Banker

Gramm Proposes Expanding NCUA Board; 2 Additions Would Include a State Regulator

Magazine article American Banker

Gramm Proposes Expanding NCUA Board; 2 Additions Would Include a State Regulator

Article excerpt

Sen. Phil Gramm has introduced a bill that would expand the National Credit Union Administration board to five members from three.

The measure, known as the State Credit Union Representation Act, would place another at-large director and a state regulator on the agency's board.

Before introducing the bill April 7, the Texas Republican had been the object of a lobbying blitz by the Credit Union National Association. He is the second-ranking Republican on the Senate Banking Committee.

"In the interest of states' rights and dual chartering it's a good idea to provide for more state-chartered input at the NCUA board," said Jeanne Marie Murphy, a lobbyist for the CUNA.

Besides giving federally insured state-chartered institutions a voice in shaping agency policy, the trade group wants to check the power of NCUA Chairman Norman E. D'Amours, sources said.

Ms. Murphy declined to comment on whether the trade group is seeking to curb Mr. D'Amours' influence, but said "expanding the board allows for broader representation."

The chairman has raised the ire of the industry's most powerful trade group with a series of actions in his first year-and-a-half in office, including a regulation that eliminates shared management between the association and industry liquidity centers.

But the legislation's odds are hurt by the full plate of issues before Congress and the fact that Sen. Gramm might be too busy pursuing his presidential ambitions to push for enactment. The bill's only chance for passage would be as an amendment to regulatory rollback legislation, sources said.

The bill also faces opposition from the NCUA and the National Association of Federal Credit Unions. …

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