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Metsger Describes Regulatory and Statutory FOM Changes to Help CUs Grow
Monday, January 12, 2015 6:25 AM

Speaking to the Virginia Credit Union League's Northern Virginia Chapter on Friday, National Credit Union Administration Vice Chair Rick Metsger described a number of changes the agency could make under existing authority.

"I've been concerned with field-of-membership issues for some time," Metsger said, "and this is an area I believe can be improved both in regulation and in law. We can modernize our rules, and Congress could update the Federal Credit Union Act to help federal credit unions grow and serve more Americans, especially those of modest means who do not have adequate access to an affordable, insured financial institution."

Some of the changes Metsger said would streamline the NCUA's regulations and expand access to credit union services include:

  • Allowing credit unions converting from single or multiple common bonds to community charters to continue serving select employer groups even if they are located outside the new community charter boundaries;
  • Permitting the addition of adjacent areas to community charters without requiring them to be core-based statistical areas;
  • Eliminating the requirement that a community charter be based on a core-based statistical area;
  • Revising and simplifying the process for determining that an area is "underserved;" and
  • Allowing active-duty military personnel and their families to automatically qualify as low-income households.

Metsger also said that the NCUA has urged Congress to make statutory changes to modify the Federal Credit Union Act and to give the agency authority to streamline FOM regulations which would permit credit unions to better serve underserved communities.

The statutory changes Metsger recommends are:

  • Allowing all credit unions, not just multiple common-bond charters, to add underserved areas;
  • Simplify the "facilities" test for determining if an area is underserved; and
  • Giving community-based federal credit unions the option to structure their fields of membership in accordance with law of the state in which they operate.