Metsger encourages more CU engagement on FOM rule reforms

March 17, 2015

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (3/18/15)--National Credit Union Administration Vice Chair Rick Metsger said he hoped the credit union community will educate Congress on field-of-membership (FOM) recommendations that would require a change to the Federal Credit Union Act.

Click to view larger imageNCUA Vice Chair Rick Metsger, pictured here speaking during a GAC general session, says that changes to field-of-membership regulations are essential to the future of the credit union system. (CUNA Photo)

"This is essential if credit unions want a healthy future," Metsger said Tuesday.

Some FOM issues that came up during CUNA's Governmental Affairs Conference breakout session last week with Metsger include:

  • implifying FOM processing;
  • Modifying the meaning of "well-defined local community;"
  • Allowing credit unions to serve additional rural and underserved communities;
  • Allowing credit unions with multiple select employee groups to serve independent contractors; and
  • Grandfathering select employee groups at credit unions that convert to community charters.

The NCUA has created a dedicated email,, to make it easier to submit more suggestions.

"The last time federal field-of-membership rules were significantly overhauled, online and mobile services were a novelty," Metsger said. "Now it's 2015, and people are as likely to define their common bonds by their social media connections as by where they live or work. States have done a better job than the federal government of keeping pace with changes in the marketplace. It's time for us to catch up."

CUNA has previously worked on FOM issues with the NCUA and continues to work with the working group established by NCUA Chair Debbie Matz to address FOM regulations. According to Metsger, the group aims to determine what steps NCUA can take administratively and what changes require Congress to amend the Federal Credit Union Act.

The agency said spots are still available for its FOM webinar March 25.