Removing Barriers Blog

CUNA and Trades File Brief in Support of NCUA FOM Rule
Posted December 14, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

The National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions (NAFCU), Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and CUNA Mutual Group jointly filed an amicus brief supporting the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) in its appeal of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit’s decision in the American Bankers Association (ABA) lawsuit that challenged the agency’s field of membership (FOM) rule.

“NAFCU remains a staunch advocate of the NCUA's legal authority to modernize credit unions' fields of membership, and we strongly support the NCUA during the appeal process,” said NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger. “This lawsuit is a clear and transparent attempt by bank lobbyists to hamstring credit unions’ ability to help more American consumers.”

“CUNA stands unwavering in its support of NCUA’s important modernization of its field-of-membership rules, and we strongly support NCUA’s appeal in the latest bank attempt to limit Americans’ access to credit unions,” said CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle. “As the federal regulator for credit unions, it is vital NCUA have the authority to interpret relevant statutes and modernize its regulations as needed to help credit unions better serve their members while maintaining safety and soundness.”

“Over the years, CUNA Mutual Group has strongly defended and promoted credit unions’ field of membership, such as with the Credit Union Campaign for Consumer Choice,” said Robert N. Trunzo, CUNA Mutual Group president and CEO. “We felt compelled to continue that support by joining forces with CUNA and NAFCU as well as retaining the services of highly respected attorney, Eugene Scalia, at the outset of the case. We are proud to continue that effort by working with NAFCU and CUNA in filing this amicus brief in support of NCUA’s appeal.”

Protecting Industry Growth

The American Bankers Association (ABA) is challenging via lawsuit the NCUA's interpretation of Federal Credit Union Act requirements for community-based credit unions as amended by the 1998 Credit Union Membership Access Act (CUMAA) in an effort to stall credit union membership growth. Last week, the NCUA filed its brief for the appeal of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit decision. The lower court upheld two challenged portions of NCUA's FOM rule and struck down two provisions in the lawsuit filed against the agency.

The credit union groups originally filed an amicus brief supporting NCUA's FOM rule last June. As the first line of defense to the nation’s 114 million credit unions, the groups continue to strive to protect opportunities for the industry to grow, stating together that the NCUA's FOM rule is well within the agency's legal authority and is in keeping with the Federal Credit Union Act. The groups have fervently pushed back against the banking lobbyists’ baseless attempts to hinder credit unions from growing their market and stand behind the NCUA's decision to issue the final rule, which was the first meaningful update to the agency's FOM rules over the past decade.