New Associational Common-Bond Rule Already Providing Relief

In April 2015, the NCUA Board finalized a rule amending the agency’s policies with respect to associational common-bond groups, providing credit unions with a measure of regulatory relief by automatically recognizing 12 types of groups as valid associations. This change also streamlined the documentation requirements for multiple common-bond credit unions to add associations to their fields of membership.

Since the rule became effective in July of last year, NCUA has seen an increase in the number of associational groups approved for membership in multiple common-bond credit unions. When comparing the five months prior to the effective date of the new rule with the five months after it became effective, the number of associations approved increased from 228 to 266, or more than 16 percent. In addition, the median size of the associational groups approved also increased from 183 to 231, or 26 percent, over the same period.

While this is a brief snapshot, it does show that the rule is already having positive results. NCUA will continue to assess the effectiveness of the new associational common-bond rule over a longer period, as credit unions became more familiar with the rule’s benefits and evaluate how it will affect their future growth strategies.

In addition, the NCUA Board continues to evaluate other options for providing additional regulatory relief with respect to chartering policy. Specifically, the Board approved at its November meeting a proposed rule that comprehensively overhauls and modernizes NCUA’s chartering and field-of-membership rules. The comment period for this proposal runs through Feb. 8.

To learn more or to submit a comment, go to

Time Period Number of Associational Groups NCUA Approved Median Number of Potential Members for Associations Approved Number of Associations Qualifying for Automatic Approval
Five Months Before the New Rule 228 183 N/A
First Five Months After the New Rule Went into Effect 266 231 227


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