Agency proposes alternative to signature card for joint ownership accounts

The signature card requirement necessary to show joint ownership of a federally insured account in a credit union could be satisfied by information contained in the account records under a rule proposed Thursday by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Board.

“Under the proposal, even if an insured credit union cannot produce membership cards or account signature cards signed by the joint accountholders, the signature card requirement could be satisfied by information contained in the account records of the insured credit union establishing co-ownership of the share account,” according to the rule summary. “For example, the signature card requirement could be satisfied by the credit union having issued a mechanism for accessing the account, such as a debit card, to each co-owner or evidence of usage of the joint share account by each co-owner.”

The proposal is aimed at facilitating prompt payment of share insurance in the event of a FICU’s failure “by explicitly providing alternative methods that the NCUA could use to determine the owners of joint accounts, consistent with the NCUA’s statutory authority,” the summary states.

The rule change would mirror one adopted last year by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) for federally insured banks and savings institutions. Released on a unanimous vote of the NCUA Board, the proposal has a 30-day public comment period, beginning on the date of its publication in the Federal Register.

Proposed rule; joint ownership share accounts

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