WASHINGTON (4/6/10)--WASHINGTON (4/6/10)--The Credit Union National Association’s (CUNA) recently formed mergers and field-of-membership (FOM) working groups will hold meetings this Wednesday. While CUNA has been addressing these issues for some time, the association is developing specific recommendations in these areas that the working groups will help formulate. The working groups are comprised of members of existing CUNA committees and subcommittees. The CUNA FOM working group, headed by Truliant FCU CEO Marc Schaefer, is concerned that some credit unions are asking whether or not the proposed field-of-membership changes from the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) may discourage credit unions from seeking community charters or expanding their areas. The task force is considering recommending amendments to NCUA that will provide more leeway for applications involving multiple political jurisdictions and rural districts. The NCUA's FOM proposal sets objective and quantifiable criteria to determine the existence of a well-defined local community for areas that encompass multiple group areas. A new, objective definition for rural districts has also been proposed. The comment period for the field-of-membership rules ends on April 15. NCUA is also currently considering its supervisory merger processes, and the CUNA merger working group, headed by Ohio CU League President Paul Mercer, intends to provide its input to NCUA in early May. The merger working group's discussions will focus on identifying the key concerns and issues that credit union and regulator stakeholders have concerning the current supervisory merger process and will offer concrete approaches that address and balance those concerns. The next call will focus on issues relating to emergency mergers. The working group invites comment on credit union concerns and will examine statistical information related to emergency mergers later in the month. Following the completion of its report on emergency mergers, the merger group will turn to the NCUA's proposal regarding bank-related mergers and conversions, with comments due to NCUA scheduled for May 28.