The public hearing process is initiated when a federal credit union requests to serve a well-defined local community (WDLC) where:
- The proposed community has a population of 2.5 million or more, and
- The boundaries of the proposed community extend beyond a single political jurisdiction.
When a proposed service area meets both requirements, the hearing process is required for requests for the following applications that use a narrative model:
- Chartering a new federal credit union with such a community charter,
- Conversion to a community charter (including conversions from state charter to federal charter), and
- Expansion of an existing community charter.
More information about these types of actions can be found in the NCUA’s Chartering and Field of Membership Manual (opens new window) (You will be leaving NCUA.gov and accessing a non-NCUA website. We encourage you to read the NCUA's exit link policies. (opens new page).) .
Under the NCUA’s chartering policies, areas where the population is 2.5 million or more and the area’s boundaries extend beyond a single political jurisdiction are not presumptive WDLCs. Applicants must demonstrate how such areas qualify as WDLCs by submitting narratives with evidence of interaction or common interests among the residents. This process is described in NCUA Letter to Federal Credit Unions 18-FCU-02, Requests to Serve a Well-Defined Local Community Using the Narrative Approach.
Before the NCUA makes a final decision, the agency will also consider input from interested parties regarding whether the area is a WDLC. In addition to a public hearing, the NCUA will solicit written comments on the application, which will become part of the public administrative record and inform the agency’s deliberative process when making a final decision.
Public Hearing Process
The NCUA will appoint a presiding officer to oversee and conduct the public hearing. The NCUA will create a written transcript of the public hearing which will provide an administrative record and allow the agency to consider comments presented at the hearing along with those submitted in writing.
The NCUA will work to accommodate applicants and interested parties when scheduling hearings. A hearing may be held in the agency’s Central Office in Alexandria, Virginia; in or near the proposed community; or as a virtual event. The agency will publish the hearing location, time, procedures, including how to attend online if the hearing will be a virtual event, and other relevant information in the Federal Register at least 60 calendar days before the event. Any costs associated with attending the hearing, including travel, will be the participant’s responsibility and will not be reimbursed by the NCUA.
Written Comments on Public Hearings
The NCUA’s Regulations allow for interested parties to provide written comment on community applications subject to the public hearing process. To submit comments, find the applicable public hearing in the table listed below and use the link to go to the comment area specific to the credit union making the application. The NCUA will post your name along with your comments. Therefore, do not include any personally identifiable information in your submitted comments or attachments.
The NCUA will review, and post submitted comments within four business days of receipt, up until the date of the public hearing.
The NCUA does not endorse, approve, or disapprove comments or any reasons stated in support of or against the proposed community. They are posted only to facilitate transparency. The agency also reserves the right not to post a comment that it believes is false, offensive, or unrelated to the public hearing.