NCUA delegates all community charter decisions to OCP

October 16, 2015

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (10/16/15)--All community charter actions will now be approved by the director of the National Credit Union Administration’s Office of Consumer Protection (OCP).

Following up on NCUA Chair Debbie Matz addressing the topic at last month’s board meeting, the board approved the changes Thursday, making them effective immediately.

“We appreciate the board’s decision regarding delegation of authority for community charter requests; it represents a good first step in field-of-membership reform,” said CUNA Chief Advocacy Officer Ryan Donovan. “This is consistent with our suggestion that NCUA do everything under its authority to remove barriers to field-of-membership expansion.”

NCUA board approval previously had been required for a community charter action involving a population of 1 million people or larger.

Once a community charter conversion or expansion occurs, the office will continue to follow up with a credit union to monitor its progress.

Under the change, as much as two months could be trimmed from the application process for a credit union serving an area with more than 1 million residents.

“We want to be sure these credit unions have the ability and commitment to serve their entire communities, particularly low-income residents and underserved areas,” NCUA Chair Debbie Matz said. “It’s clear the Office of Consumer Protection can make these determinations, and staff will be monitoring credit unions to ensure they meet the needs of their communities. There is no longer the need for the NCUA Board to be involved in the approval process.”

If a credit union’s request is not approved, it can still appeal to the board.