On January 11, 2021, NCUA issued a proposed rule to expand the field of membership for multiple common bond credit unions. WBA filed comments on February 10, 2021, in opposition to this expansion.
The proposal would modify the definition of service facility for select groups and underserved areas to include any shared branch, shared ATM, or shared electronic facility regardless of whether the credit union is an owner of the shared branch network. In addition, the proposal would erase the distinction between service to select groups and service to underserved areas as delineated in the Act.
WBA commented that the proposal is another example of NCUA fueling the growth of the credit union industry, which undermines congressional intent to demand a heightened standard of in-person service for underserved communities. Further, WBA expressed concern that the proposal encourages abandonment of credit unions’ statutorily mandated physical presence and common bond requirements, which destroys the nexus between the credit union charter and the federally subsidized mission to provide financial services to underserved communities and people of modest means.
WBA recommended that NCUA withdraw the proposal in its entirety.
By, Ally Bates