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CUNA notes right to credit union membership through association

Following the National Credit Union Administration's Letter to Credit Unions on common bond advertising requirements, Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Deputy General Counsel Mary Dunn urged federal credit unions with associational memberships to review their policies and practices, as they do periodically, to ensure their continued compliance with federal regulation.

CUNA is currently working with the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) to determine how many federal credit unions offer membership through an association.

On Septemer 4, the NCUA reminded federal credit unions of their advertising requirements in a new letter titled, "Potential Violations of Common Bond Advertising Requirements" (13-FCU-03).  The letter does not apply to state-chartered credit unions.

In the letter, the NCUA addressed:

  • Common bond requirements in the Federal Credit Union Act and NCUA rules;
  • Requirements for accuracy of advertising in NCUA rules; and
  • Consequences of failing to comply with these requirements.

"Upholding the membership standards of every federal credit union charter is essential to maintaining the integrity of the federal credit union system," the NCUA letter said.

CUNA, however, underscores that consumers have a right to join associations and federal credit unions are authorized to serve association members.

"They have done so effectively under the law to ensure more consumers have access to credit union service, a fact that cannot be overlooked or ignored," Dunn added.

She said that, in response to the newest letter, CUNA is urging the NCUA not to undermine the ability of the vast majority of federal credit unions to continue serving associational members and to direct its examiners to act reasonably on the issue.

Use this link to read the complete NCUA letter.