Regulator approves final policy eliminating waivers for persons with minor offenses seeking jobs at credit unions

Persons convicted of minor offenses, including those who were young adults at the time, would no longer need a waiver to get a job at a credit union from the federal regulator, the agency’s board decided Thursday.

The final interpretive ruling and policy statement (IRPS) adopted unanimously by the three-member National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Board will take effect 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. The policy was dubbed the “second-chance initiative” by NCUA Chairman Rodney Hood.

The second-chance initiative, as adopted, means that convictions or program entries for offenses involving insufficient funds checks of aggregate moderate value, small dollar simple theft, false identification, simple drug possession, and isolated minor offenses committed by covered persons as young adults will not require an application for a waiver from the NCUA to serve at a credit union.

Also under the new policy, the agency’s two regional directors are delegated authority to approve or disapprove credit union-sponsored applications for those individuals seeking work but who still must obtain a waiver (the NCUA Board will still be able to review applications that were denied at the regional level).

Earlier this week, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) proposed codifying in its regulations a similar policy (in effect since 1998) which sets the criteria for providing relief for individuals with convictions for certain low-risk (“de minimus”) crimes, forgoing the need for a waiver application.

Final IRPS 19-1, Guidance Regarding Prohibitions Imposed by Section 205(d)