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Multiple Common Bond Credit Union Charter

By Sam Brownell - August 30, 2018

A federal multiple common bond credit union has flexibility for its field of membership, with access to expansion opportunities like underserved areas.

A federal credit union may be chartered to serve a combination of distinct, definable single occupational and/or associational common bonds. This type of credit union is called a multiple common bond credit union. Each group in the field of membership must have its own occupational or associational common bond. For example, such a credit union may include two unrelated employers, or two unrelated associations, or a combination of two or more employers or associations. Additionally, these groups must be within reasonable geographic proximity of the credit union. That is, the groups must be within the service area of one of the credit union’s service facilities. These groups are referred to as select groups. A multiple common bond credit union cannot include a TIP charter or expand using single common bond criteria.

A federal credit union's service area is the area that can reasonably be served by the service facilities accessible to the groups within the field of membership. The service area will most often coincide with that geographic area primarily served by the service facility. Additionally, the groups served by the credit union must have access to the service facility. The nonavailability of other credit union service is a factor to be considered in determining whether the group is within reasonable proximity of a credit union wishing to add the group to its field of membership.

A service facility for multiple common bond credit unions is defined as a place where shares are accepted for members’ accounts, loan applications are accepted or loans are disbursed. This definition includes a credit union owned branch, a mobile branch, an office operated on a regularly scheduled weekly basis, a credit union owned ATM, or a credit union owned electronic facility that meets, at a minimum, these requirements. A service facility also includes a shared branch or a shared branch network if either: (1) the credit union has an ownership interest in the service facility either directly or through a CUSO or similar organization; or (2) the service facility is local to the credit union and the credit union is an authorized participant in the service center. This definition does not include the credit union’s Internet website.

The select employee group as a whole will be considered to be within a credit union's service area when:

  • A majority of the persons in a select group live, work, or gather regularly within the service area;
  • The group's headquarters is located within the service area; or
  • The group's "paid from" or "supervised from" location is within the service area.

Sample Multiple Common Bond Field of Membership:

"The field of membership of this federal credit union shall be limited to the following:

  1. Employees of Teltex Corporation who work in Wilmington, Delaware;
  2. Partners and employees of Smith & Jones, Attorneys at Law, who work in Wilmington, Delaware;
  3. Members of the M&L Association in Wilmington, Delaware, who qualify for membership in accordance with its charter and bylaws in effect on December 31, 1997.”

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