The National Credit Union Administration named Charles Vice to the role as it works to form a team around fintech.
The National Credit Union Administration named Charles Vice as the new Director of Financial Technology and Access on Tuesday to help the agency with its fintech policies.
According to the announcement, Vice will serve as the principal advisor on agency policy to the NCUA Board. This includes policy on fintech, fintech developments and transformation initiatives in the financial services sector—like cryptocurrency, blockchain and distributed ledger technology. His position will also be responsible for looking at ways to improve the virtual examination and supervision process, among other things.
“I am honored and blessed to join the NCUA team as the Director of Financial Technology and Access,” Vice said. “Technological innovations have permeated almost every aspect of our lives, and this has resulted in the financial services industry changing rapidly over the past few years. The credit union industry plays an important role in the economic success of the United States and is adopting innovative solutions to offer services and connect to members. I look forward to working with the credit union industry to adopt innovative solutions and with all stakeholders to promote fair and equitable access to financial services for existing, new and potential credit union members.”
The director position was approved as part of NCUA’s 2021-2022 budget, and an agency spokesperson confirmed that it is a new position.
As noted in the position justification: “Technology is rapidly changing operations within the financial services industry and simultaneously improving consumers’ ability to access the financial services that they need. This focus is expected to include efforts to encourage the use of fintech and innovation to expand financial inclusion and drive consumer access to affordable financial services products. Two new positions within the Office of the Executive Director will provide the NCUA with a dedicated focus on fintech practices and needs in the credit union system.”
The two new positions—a senior staff role and an additional “career ladder” position, according to the agency budget justification—“will work with credit unions and fintech companies to harness the opportunities that innovation provides to support financial inclusion efforts and make financial services more accessible to underserved communities. Specifically, this unit will help credit unions understand how fintech can be leveraged to connect with minority communities, rural communities and other underserved populations, including by providing support as credit unions consider types of services offered to members, how these services are accessed, and ways to streamline regulations to expand access. The work carried out by these new staff will help inform the agency’s examination program and regulatory initiatives.”
The roles are also expected to provide “important context” about fintech for the agency’s Chief Information Office and Office of Business Innovation for the agency’s internal systems.
“Charles is not only a forward thinker, but he’s also a dedicated public servant bringing a wealth of experience in finance and supervision to this new role,” Chairman Todd M. Harper said. “I am looking forward to working with him on developing and implementing fintech policies and procedures, most especially those that expand economic equity and help to close the wealth gap.”
“Charles knows his job is to ensure the NCUA isn’t a technophobic agency,” Vice Chairman Kyle S. Hauptman, said. “The NCUA Board wouldn’t be doing its job if we didn’t embrace fintech, both at the agency and at America’s more than 4800 credit unions.”
Prior to this role, Vice was the commissioner of the Kentucky Public Protection Cabinet’s Department of Financial Institutions and the treasurer of the National Association of State Credit Union Supervisors, where he was in charge of the regulatory oversight for financial institutions chartered in Kentucky. He also worked at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation for 18 years.