NCUA Seeks FOM Modernization Comments

on 11:20 AM

NCUA Board Vice Chair Rick Metsger thinks modernizing field-of-membership regulations is the most important issue for the long-term health of America’s credit unions. So he said in comments earlier this week.

“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.”

At a session during CUNA's recent Governmental Affairs Conference, Metsger solicited suggestions from more than 100 credit union leaders attending his session on field-of-membership issues. Some of those suggestions 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.

NCUA created a dedicated email, FOMSuggestions@ncua.gov, to make it easier to submit 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.

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