The Senate Banking Committee Thursday heard directly from NCUA Board nominee Tanya Otsuka, who has been nominated to replace current Board Member Rodney Hood as his term expired in August. During the hearing, Otsuka outlined her priorities should she be confirmed to the NCUA Board and stressed the importance of the NCUA as an independent regulator.
Otsuka noted her priorities include ensuring credit unions – especially smaller institutions – can remain competitive in the marketplace, highlighting that many credit unions serve communities in areas where access to financial services is limited.
In response to a question regarding the expansion of consumer financial protection initiatives, including by the CFPB, Otsuka said she will honor the mission of the NCUA, talk to stakeholders in the industry regularly to promote transparency, and work toward the goal of ensuring access to financial services. Also in response to questioning, Otsuka agreed to look into the issue of potential “overreliance on overdraft fees,” as raised in a recent misleading and inaccurate Politico article to which NAFCU and CUNA responded immediately.
Otsuka was also questioned several times on climate change risk, to which she explained she believes regulators have a responsibility to ensure that financial institutions appropriately manage risk, but so long as credit unions are following the law and managing risks appropriately, the NCUA should not be dictating how and to whom they lend from a climate risk perspective.
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