Field of Membership - Final Rule

Field of Membership

Field of Membership  - Final Rule 

The NCUA Board approved a final FOM rule at their October meeting. The rule adopts most of the CUNA recommended changes that were proposed in the November 2015 proposed rule.  The final rule amends NCUA’s chartering and field of membership policies and procedures. This Final Rule and the amendments made within will implement changes in policy affecting: 

  • The definition of a local community, a rural district, and an underserved area;
  • The expansion of options for a multiple common bond credit union to add potential members;  
  • The expansion of options available to single common bond credit unions based on a trade, industry or profession; and  
  • The process for applying to expand membership in a federal credit union.  

The rule also implements technical changes to reflect the name change of the Office of Consumer Protection to the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access, and changes to its chartering and field of membership responsibilities to more comprehensively addresses the due process associated with the agency’s decisions on charter amendment requests. This updated framework will make NCUA’s rules more efficient and maximize access to federal credit union services to the extent permitted under the Federal Credit Union Act.
A more detailed summary comparing the existing FOM rules vs. the 2016 Final Rule can be found here

Second FOM Proposed Rule

The NCUA Board approved a second FOM proposed rule at the October Board meeting.  This proposed rule provides generally for three changes to the Fields of Membership Rules as a corollary to the amendments adopted at this board meeting.  The three areas addressed are as follows: 

  • Provide applicants seeking approval to initially form, expand, or to convert to, a community charter the option, in lieu of relying on a “presumptive community,” to submit a narrative to establish common interests and interaction among residents of the area it proposes to serve, thus qualifying the area as a well-defined local community;
  • Increase to 10 million the population limit on a well-defined local community other than a Single Political Jurisdiction; and  
  • Permit a credit union to designate an individual portion of a Core-Based Statistical Area as its community without regard to metropolitan division boundaries within the area, if any. 

CUNA strongly supports these changes and recommended them to the agency in a letter sent to the Board in June 2015 and the comment letter for the first FOM proposal.

Comments are due to December 9.


CUNA’s Final Rule Analysis 
FOM I final rule
NCUA comparison chart
CUNA’s 2015 Recommendation Letter
FOM II proposed rule summary 
FOM proposed rule text