NEW ORLEANS (10/26/15)--A field-of-membership (FOM) proposal, still under development, is being fast tracked for release this year, according to National Credit Union Administration Vice Chair Rick Metsger. Metsger addressed the National Association of State Credit Union Supervisors Summit last week.
Metsger said the proposal would place more control of a credit union’s field of membership with its board of directors, allowing it to deal with local marketplace changes. Its focus would be to give credit unions a “menu” of options for determining fields of membership, allowing each institution to choose the best fit for its needs.
He also said action is needed by the NCUA because the trend of charter conversions has recently shifted in favor of state charters, especially in states that allow broad fields of membership.
“The federal charter is lagging way behind,” he said.
Metsger participated in a panel discussion after his remarks, where he said FOM choices would entail “a lot of different things.”
One example he gave is to grant credit unions a field of membership based on its congressional district, which was an idea posed by CUNA. CUNA strongly advocated for this in a letter to the NCUA, as well as to NCUA staff in meetings.
CUNA, its subcommittees and state leagues have been working with the NCUA in recent months as part of the agency’s FOM working group and through a series of meetings. These include proposing a number of administrative steps the agency should take immediately, as well as changes that could me made in a proposed rule.
For coverage of board member J. Mark McWatters’ speech at the NASCUS Summit, see “McWatters says supp. cap rule needed soon” in Oct. 19 News Now.