Removing Barriers Blog

CUNA Sends Letter to Hill Rebutting Banker Attacks on FOM Proposal
Posted January 28, 2016 by CUNA Advocacy

This week, CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle sent a letter to all members of Congress, responding to a letter from the American Bankers Association (ABA) and the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) regarding a proposal from the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) to modernize credit union field of membership regulation.  

The letter rebutted claims made by the ABA and ICBA as factually incorrect, and exposed these claims as disturbing perspective on the part of America’s bankers that consumers should have less access to affordable financial services.

It also described the loose analysis of NCUA’s field of membership (FOM) proposal articulated by the bankers’ letter as disappointing and  inaccurate.  Nothing in the proposal would allow credit unions to expand their fields of membership in an “unchecked” manner.  If this proposal is adopted, federal credit unions will still face limits on whom they may serve under the Federal Credit Union Act.  

The letter goes on to highlight how the Federal Credit Union Act gives the NCUA authority to implement FOM requirements, and that the current proposal modifies changes made by the agency in 2010 that added a number of restrictions not required by law.

Nussle also adds that, not only has the NCUA not exceeded its statutory authority, but the agency has not gone nearly far enough. While we support the proposal, NCUA could have proposed much more relief and still remained consistent with the law. The bankers seek to limit consumer access to credit unions, but Congress should be doing more to expand access to credit unions.”

Our letter was addressed to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif. We urge all credit unions to file their own comment letters supporting the proposal before the agency’s Feb. 8 deadline. Please visit our FOM resource page for any additional information you may need.