Appeals court denies ABA petition for FOM lawsuit rehearing

December 12, 2019

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit denied the American Bankers Association’s appeal for a rehearing en banc in its lawsuit against NCUA’s field of membership rule. CUNA filed a brief in support of NCUA in the initial hearing, and strongly supports NCUA’s field-of-membership rule.

“Today’s decision by the D. C. Circuit Court upholding the National Credit Union Administration’s field of membership rule is another major win for credit unions and the 117 million members they serve,” said CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle. “By recognizing the agency’s authority to regulate and guide America’s not-for-profit credit unions, the court has ensured that the member-owned, people-over-profit cooperative movement will remain strong and continue to grow to meet the needs of Americans for years to come.”

In October 2016, NCUA finalized its CUNA-supported FOM resulting in the ABA suing the agency in December 2016. The U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia ruled in March 2018, upholding two challenged portions of the rule and striking down two provisions.

In August 2019, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the previous opinion by U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, thereby allowing credit unions to serve Combined Statistical Areas of up to 2.5 million people and rural districts with up to one million people.

The latest credit union advocacy success of the year, this decision comes on top of other landmark achievements including preserving the credit union tax status in the National Defense Authorization ActHouse passage of the SAFE Banking Act, a proposed raise in remittance reporting thresholds, and a delay in the implementation of costly current expected credit loss (CECL) standards and the RBC rule.