WASHINGTON -- Roger Jepsen said Friday that he would not resign as the chief regulator of federal credit unions until a successor was confirmed by the Senate.

Mr. Jepsen, a Reagan appointee, said he did not plan to leave the National Credit Union Administration before his term expires on Aug. 1. Under the law, he can stay in the job until a successor nominated by the Clinton administration is in place.

"I don't have any intention of leaving ahead of time," Mr. Jepsen, 63, said in an interview.

He said his only interest was in serving out the remainder of his six-year term. He added that had not yet started looking for a job and did not know what he would do next.

It is unclear whom Mr. Clinton will nominate for Mr. Jepsen's post.

Possible Candidates

Contenders may include Robert Swan, the current Democratic member of the National Credit Union Administration board; Wendell "Bucky" Sebastian, president of GTE Federal Credit Union, Tampa, Fla., and former executive director and general counsel of the NCUA; and H.C. Klein, president of Arkansas Federal Credit Union, Jacksonville, Ark.

Mr. Klein worked on the Clinton campaign and is chairman of a key industry trade group, the National Association of Federal Credit Unions.

Mr. Klein, however, said Friday, "I|m not interested in moving to Washington. I'm happy doing what I'm doing."

A Term in the Senate

A Republican from Iowa, Mr. Jepsen was a U.S. senator from 1979 to 1985. At the NCUA, he initially served out the unexpired term of Edgar F. Callahan. In 1987, Mr. Jepsen was reappointed to a six-year term.

Since 1985, total assets in credit unions have grown to $267 billion from $137 billion, and the industry is more profitable, but the number of credit unions declined to about 13,800 from 17,700, according to the National Credit Union Administration.

"All the trends in the credit union industry are headed in the right direction," Mr. Jepsen said.

"That has happened on my watch."

Staff Bonuses Criticized

Mr. Jepsen was criticized by House Banking Committee Chairman Henry B. Gonzalez, D- Tex., for paying nearly $500,000 in bonuses to 39 senior staff members last year.

Rep. Gonzalez also launched an investigation into allegations that Mr. Jepsen threw NCUA business to a friend who operated a collection agency.

Mr. Jepsen said that the allegations were "totally unfounded," and that the person was an acquaintance, not a friend.

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