Chairman J. Mark McWatters has a proven track record of addressing systemic government problems. The suggestion that he would prefer credit union interests over those of banks as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, as the Independent Community Bankers of America suggests, is just fantasy.
As a member of the Troubled Asset Relief Program’s congressional oversight panel, Chairman McWatters took part in a bipartisan effort to oversee and report on complex and extensive issues impacting the entire financial system. In addition, he demonstrated at the National Credit Union Administration his commitment to eliminating unnecessary regulations and increasing the agency's transparency and efficiency. We hope that he would bring those same commitments to the CFPB. So should the ICBA. Just as working for the TARP commission was different than working at the NCUA, the CFPB is a very different agency with a very different mission than a functional regulator. And quite frankly, Chairman McWatters has the education and experience to oversee the CFPB.
Though ICBA cut a deal for the creation of the CFPB while NAFCU opposed it, the ICBA has largely been aligned with NAFCU on many occasions in pushing back against CFPB overreach. Considering the ICBA represents the interests of community financial institutions, it is unclear then why they would view Chairman McWatters, who understands the needs of the nation's smallest financial institutions, as a poor fit. Though trade groups may vocalize their position on a matter, the appointment of the CFPB director is not up to us. The White House and the Senate should be trusted with making the right and best decision.