Comments due to federal credit union regulator Dec. 9 on membership eligibility proposal

Comments on the National Credit Union Administration’s (NCUA) proposed rule on chartering and field of membership (FOM) will be due Dec. 9, 30 days following publication Thursday of the rule in the Federal Register.

Under the proposal, a federal credit union could designate a combined statistical area (CSA), or an individual, contiguous portion of that area, as a well-defined local community (WDLC) provided that the chosen area has a population of 2.5 million or less. The NCUA Board issued the proposed rule at its Oct. 24 board meeting.

NCUA said it is phasing in new rules related to membership following a court’s ruling in August. In accordance with the August D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling, with respect to communities based on a core-based statistical area (CBSA), the agency has said it is providing “further explanation and support for its elimination of the requirement to serve the CBSA’s core area” as provided for in an original FOM rule adopted in 2016 by the board. The agency also said it is proposing to clarify existing requirements and “add an explicit provision to its rules to address concerns about potential discrimination in the FOM selection for CSAs and CBSAs.”

In September, NCUA Board Chairman Rodney Hood indicated that the agency would take a “phased approach” in moving forward on its regulation, given that the court’s ruling remained subject to requests for further review. Hood also said “in the near future” the agency would consider a limited proposal to address the definition of local community. The federal court, in its decision, focused on the definition of “Core-Based Statistical Areas” that do not include the urban core.

NCUA proposed rule: Chartering and Field of Membership