N.H. is newest success in CU recodification laws

July 29, 2015

MARLBOROUGH, Mass. (7/29/15)--New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan has signed into law Senate Bill 188, An Act Revising Banking, Credit Union, and Trust Laws, commonly referred to as the credit union recodification.

"Passage of this bill is really a credit to our New Hampshire credit unions that took the time and effort to not only advocate for passage of the bill but help us craft the key areas of advancement in the legislation to improve the operating environment for New Hampshire credit unions,” Paul Gentile, Cooperative Credit Union Association (CCUA) president/CEO, told News Now.

“I applaud our members for their efforts. From an association standpoint we will be working with the New Hampshire Department of Banking on implementation issues and educating our credit unions on opportunities created by the bill.”

CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle congratulated the league on its role in the credit union victory. "This showcases the very best of the CUNA-league system as we work together to protect and enhance the dual chartering system and protect credit union interests in all 50 states," Nussle said.

The bill adds a new chapter, RSA 383-E, to consolidate, update and clarify laws relative to credit unions. This state legislative milestone is the most significant and comprehensive legislative undertaking in decades for credit unions.

The bill’s intent is to streamline existing provisions for ease of use, plan language and better organization. The bill deletes outdated provisions, simplifies administrative procedures and enforcement actions, incorporates technological advances, reduces regulatory burden, and introduces new powers.

Highlights of the recodification bill include:

  • Clarification and modernization of the application procedure for establishing a new credit union;
  • More advantageous parity provisions;
  • New standards for directors and officers; and
  • New articles on meetings, branching and mergers.

During the public hearing on the bill, the House Commerce Committee accepted oral testimony from Tim Naro, executive vice president/chief operating officer of Granite State CU, Manchester, in support of the bill. Written testimony similar to his statements was offered in the Senate.

Gentile said New Hampshire Banking Department Commissioner of Banks Glenn Perlow and his staff were instrumental in drafting the measure, in responding to legislative inquiries, and in building consensus throughout the legislative process.

Gentile also cited the work of CCUA’s Advocacy Committee and Working Group, notably Bob Fleury, executive vice president/chief financial officer of Granite State CU.

Credit union act update in other states this year include:

  • Virginia S. 875 removes state oversight of the placement of credit union automated teller machines;
  • Montana S. 53 updates and clarifies credit union board of director duties and adds a financial literacy component;
  • Montana H.B. 550 adds definitions and updates to conflicting language regarding supervisory and credit committees; removes a restriction on loans to employees at favorable rates; includes additional investment options; clarifies merger requirements; revises account verification; and expands the regulator’s rulemaking authority;
  • North Carolina H. 511 permits credit unions to offer escrow accounts upon a ruling by the National Credit Union Administration and clarifies that credit unions can invest in higher education bonds and reimburse directors for reasonable expenses;
  • Oregon S. 582 permits Oregon state-chartered credit unions to compensate directors; removes the membership share requirement for state-chartered credit unions; clarifies that foster children are eligible for membership; and removes the requirement that the state regulator approve new credit union branches;
  • Washington S. 5757 addresses credit unions’ corporate governance and investments; and
  • Washington S. 5300 updates the regulator’s enforcement powers regarding credit unions and credit union service organizations.