State-Chartered Credit Unions Sign Cooperation Agreement
Learn why a coalition of state credit union regulators has signed a cooperation agreement related to field of membership expansion and branch additions.
Focus on field of membership expansion and branch additions.
Ten state credit union regulators have signed a new agreement that will govern how they will share supervision when a state-chartered credit union crosses their borders, NASCUS officials announced Wednesday.
“The primary objective of the Interstate Agreement is to provide clear guidelines regarding the expansion of fields of membership and branch additions for out-of-state credit unions across participating states,” NASCUS said, in announcing the agreement. “Simultaneously, it aims to enhance collaboration and coordination between home and host state supervisors in overseeing and examining credit unions involved in interstate activities.”
The agreement also broadly addresses the sharing of supervisory information, the association noted.
Regulators signing the agreement so far are those from Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, and Texas.
Backstory and Context
As of the end of the fourth quarter of 2022, there were 1,883 state-chartered credit unions—representing 39% of all U.S. credit unions. Together, those institutions had 65.3 million members—48% of all credit union members.
Increasingly, state credit unions are seeking to add field of membership groups whose members live or work outside their home state, NASCUS said. At the same time, it is unclear whether out-of-state credit unions are allowed to add groups in a host state.
“This lack of clarity creates inefficiencies for state credit unions and their members, as well as state supervisors,” according to NASCUS.
Inside the Agreement
In part, the agreement signed by the states says that:
–Affected home and host state supervisors will try to avoid double counting of assets for assessment purposes and to avoid unnecessary fees.
–A multiple-state credit union will be subject to an enhanced level of consultation by regulators.
–The home-state supervisor will be considered to be the primary regulator responsible for examination and supervision of a credit union.
–Multiple state credit unions must comply with all relevant state laws.
–The agreement does not apply to CUSOs.
NASCUS said the agreement was created in collaboration with its Dual Charter Resource Initiative and is meant to replace NASCUS-initiated agreements signed in 1998, 2008 and 2015.
Reaction From Regulators
State regulators said the agreement will bring clarity to a thorny issue.
“This agreement fosters collaborative relationships with other state regulators, strengthening supervision and enhancing consumer protections,” said Connecticut Banking Commissioner Jorge Perez.
“As the ability to serve broader fields of membership is being supported by constant innovation, this agreement provides essential guidance for reasonably consistent regulatory approaches to interstate activities and expansion,” added Denice Schultheiss, director of credit unions at the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services.
Field of Membership Expansion