Field of Membership Rule to be Unveiled Thursday

A new field of membership (FOM) rule is expected to be proposed at the NCUA’s November 19 meeting. Credit union advocates have suggested a number of changes to the current regulations, and the Association expects that many of these reforms will be included in the proposal.

Expected changes to the current regulations include:

  • Greater flexibility for federal credit unions to add rural and underserved areas to their memberships;
  • A streamlined process for adding small businesses aggregated in business parks;
  • Recognition of the integral role of contractors to certain segs, and the ability for seg-based credit unions to add key seg vendors.

“The reality is that very few companies are vertically integrated any longer,” said Teri Robinson, CEO of Pacific Northwest Ironworkers Federal Credit Union. “Contractors that are vital to the business being served should be allowed to join a seg-based credit union.”

The Association is also hopeful that federal credit unions will be allowed to use Congressional districts as well-defined areas that can be added to a field of membership.

“This proposal is important to all credit unions, not only those with federal charters,” said John Trull, AVP of Regulatory Advocacy for the Association. “Not only are their opportunities to claim parity if the federal rule is more progressive than state rules, but it also informs and supports our state-level efforts to keep our charters progressive and competitive.”

The FOM proposal is expected to face opposition from credit union competitors. Once the proposal is announced, the Association will issue a call to action for all Northwest credit unions to engage with both the NCUA and with their members of Congress. The request will include calls for high-level letters of support and in-depth comment letters.

As with every important regulatory issue, the Association will write an in-depth comment letter including a thorough analysis of how the rule can be improved. They request all input to be sent by a week before the comment deadline in order to incorporate it into the comment letter.

Questions about this story? Contact James Pearson: 206.340.4790, jpearson@nwcua.org.

 

Posted in Advocacy News, Federal, NCUA.