ALEXANDRIA, Va. (1/12/15)--Changes to field-of-membership (FOM) laws and regulations could benefit credit unions, National Credit Union Administration Vice Chair Rick Metsger told the Virginia Credit Union League Friday.
Speaking to the league's Northern Virginia Chapter, Metsger described a number of changes the agency could make under existing authority.
"I've been concerned with field-of-membership issues for some time," Metsger said, "and this is an area I believe can be improved both in regulation and in law.
"We can modernize our rules, and Congress could update the Federal Credit Union Act, to help federal credit unions grow and serve more Americans, especially those of modest means, who do not have adequate access to an affordable, insured financial institution."
Some of the changes Metsger said would streamline the NCUA's regulations and expand access to credit union services include:
Metsger also said legislators could take actions to improve FOM rules, adding that the NCUA has urged statutory changes to modify the Federal Credit Union Act in testimony to Congress. These changes would give the agency authority to streamline FOM regulations and permit credit unions to better serve underserved communities, Metsger said.
The statutory changes he recommended are:
"Credit unions have a lot to offer members," Metsger said, "and while keeping safety and soundness always in mind, lawmakers and regulators should look for ways to help them provide affordable financial services to more people."
The NCUA announced last month it would form a FOM working group, which would explore issues association with current FOM rules and regulations.