Email Address Set Up for Comment, Internal Working Group Considers Changes
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (March 17, 2015) – Modernizing field-of-membership regulations is the most important issue for the long-term health of America’s credit unions, National Credit Union Administration Board Vice Chairman Rick Metsger said today, and he encouraged people in the credit union system to join that effort.
“The last time federal field-of-membership rules were significantly overhauled, online and mobile services were a novelty,” Metsger said. “Now it’s 2015, and people are as likely to define their common bonds by their social media connections as by where they live or work. States have done a better job than the federal government of keeping pace with changes in the marketplace. It’s time for us to catch up.”
Metsger said credit unions need to be engaged for change, and he welcomed suggestions from more than 100 credit union leaders attending his session on field-of-membership issues at the Credit Union National Association’s recent Governmental Affairs Conference. Some of the suggestions from that session included:
- Simplifying field-of-membership processing,
- Modifying the meaning of “well-defined local community,”
- Allowing credit unions to serve additional rural and underserved communities,
- Allowing credit unions with multiple select employee groups to serve independent contractors, and
- Grandfathering select employee groups at credit unions that convert to community charters.
The agency has created a dedicated email, FOMSuggestions@ncua.gov
, to make it easier to submit more suggestions. Last year, NCUA Board Chairman Debbie Matz created a special internal Field-of-Membership Working Group to consider ideas for enhancing federal charters. Metsger said the Working Group will review suggestions to help determine what steps NCUA can take administratively and what changes require Congress to amend the Federal Credit Union Act.
“I’m looking forward to working with Chairman Matz and Board Member McWatters, both of whom have indicated their support for field-of-membership modernization,” Metsger said. “I hope the credit union community will help us educate Congress on any recommendations that would require changes in the Federal Credit Union Act. This is essential if credit unions want a healthy future.”
NCUA is the independent federal agency created by the U.S. Congress to regulate, charter and supervise federal credit unions. With the backing of the full faith and credit of the United States, NCUA operates and manages the National Credit Union Share
Insurance Fund, insuring the deposits of account holders in all federal credit unions and the overwhelming majority of
state-chartered credit unions. At MyCreditUnion.gov, NCUA also educates the public on consumer protection and financial literacy issues.