Oregon State Chartered Credit Unions Weigh in With DCBS on Occupancy Rule

Representatives of Oregon state-chartered credit unions leveraged an opportunity to meet with the Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS) this month, successfully urging adoption of an occupancy rule that gives parity with rules applying to federally chartered credit unions.

In February of this year, the DCBS adopted a temporary rule allowing a state-chartered credit union up to six years to partially utilize unimproved property held for future expansion.

In early May the DCBS took the next step in permanently adopting the rule, convening an advisory group made up of state chartered credit unions to discuss the permanent adoption of this rule. Nearly one third of Oregon’s state chartered credit unions sent a representative to participate, according to John Trull, director of regulatory advocacy for the Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA).

Rick Blackwell, Senior Policy analyst for the DCBS, explained that the temporary rule was set to expire after 180 days on July 31. Blackwell asked if there was interest in adopting the text of the temporary rule on a permanent basis. All of the credit unions representatives expressed support for permanent adoption of the rule.

“It can be difficult to obtain permits, particularly when cities change building codes halfway through a project, that can slow down the entire process.” Said Jerry Liudahl, Chief Credit Officer at Oregon Community Credit Union. “A three year window is too narrow to effectively get things done and we would appreciate the DCBS permanently adopting a rule that gives us parity with the federal act.”

Participants were also asked how the rule will impact small business both fiscally and from a regulatory standpoint.

Kevin Cole, chief financial officer for Maps Credit Union indicated that the rule potentially lowers the cost for facilities long term and really doesn’t create a compliance burden.

The final question was whether there are other items related to the adoption of the rule that the division should consider. A number of participants encouraged the DCBS to define unimproved real property, by using the same definition proposed in the NCUA’s Fixed Asset Rule.

“Defining unimproved property ensures credit unions and the regulator are on the same page,” said the NWCUA’s Trull.

After receiving input from the advisory group, the DCBS filed the notice of proposed rulemaking with the Secretary of State office. The public comment period is open until July 8, and a public hearing is scheduled for July 1, 2013 at 8:30 a.m. in Conference Room 260, of the Labor and Industries Bldg., 350 Winter St. NE, Salem, Oregon.

 

Questions? Contact Lynn Heider: 503.350.2225, lheider@nwcua.org.

Posted in Advocacy News, CUNA, NWCUA.