Chartering and Field of Membership Manual, 88412-88523 [2016-26956]

Download as PDF 88412 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations NATIONAL CREDIT UNION ADMINISTRATION 12 CFR Part 701 RIN 3133–AE31 Chartering and Field of Membership Manual National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: The NCUA Board is comprehensively amending its chartering and field of membership rules to maximize access to federal credit union services to the extent permitted by law, and to organize the rules in a more efficient framework. The amendments will implement changes in policy affecting: The definition of a local community, a rural district, and an underserved area; the chartering and expansion of a multiple common bond credit union; the expansion of a single common bond credit union that serves a trade, industry or profession; and the process for applying to charter, or to expand, a federal credit union. DATES: The effective date of this final rule is February 6, 2017. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Matthew Biliouris, Deputy Director, or Robert Leonard, Director, Division of Consumer Access, or Rita Woods, Director, Division of Consumer Access South, Office of Consumer Protection, at the above address or telephone (703) 518–1140; or Senior Staff Attorney Steven Widerman, or Staff Attorney Marvin Shaw, Office of General Counsel, at the above address or telephone (703) 518–6540. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: I. Background II. Summary of Comments on Proposed Rule III. Regulatory Procedures asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES I. Background NCUA’s Chartering and Field of Membership Manual, incorporated as Appendix B to part 701 of its regulations (‘‘Chartering Manual’’),1 implements the field of membership (‘‘FOM’’) requirements and limitations established by the Federal Credit Union Act (‘‘the Act’’) for federal credit unions (each an ‘‘FCU’’).2 As amended by the Credit Union Membership Access Act of 1998 (‘‘CUMAA’’), the Act provides a choice among three charter types: a single common bond consisting of a group whose members all share the same occupational or associational 1 Appendix 2 12 B to 12 CFR part 701 (‘‘Appendix B’’). U.S.C. 1759. VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 common bond; 3 a multiple common bond in which each group has a distinct occupational or associational common bond among its own members; 4 and a community common bond among persons or organizations within a welldefined local community, neighborhood, or a rural district.5 To facilitate consumer access to credit unions and to enhance their delivery of services as the Act contemplates, the Board periodically modifies and updates the Chartering Manual to advance certain objectives. Among these are relief from undue burdens and restrictions on an FCU’s ability to provide services to consumers who are eligible for FCU membership, especially to benefit those of modest means; enhancement of the menu of strategic options for FOM expansions; and maximization of competitive parity between federal and state charters to the extent allowed by law, while respecting the national system of dual chartering. To serve those objectives, the Board published a proposed rule in December 2015 requesting public comment on fifteen substantive modifications to the rules affecting each of the three FOM types that the Act authorizes.6 As explained below, this final rule will implement proposed modifications to the rule affecting: The definition of a local community, a rural district, and an underserved area; the expansion of a multiple common bond credit union; the expansion of a single common bond credit union that serves a trade, industry or profession; and the type and extent of information that must be submitted to support an application to charter or expand an FCU’s FOM. II. Summary of Comments on Proposed Rule NCUA received approximately 11,380 comments on the proposed rule: 31 from national and regional credit union trade associations and leagues; 99 from individual FCUs; 14 from federallyinsured state-chartered credit unions; 8291 from individual credit union members; 14 from national and regional bank trade associations; 6 from individual banks; 2925 from individual bank customers; and 6 from other commenters.7 The commenters generally supported the proposed rule by a ratio of approximately 3 to 1, 3 Id. § 1759(b)(1). § 1759(b)(2)(A). 5 Id. § 1759(b)(3). 6 80 FR 76748 (December 10, 2015). 7 Among credit union- and bank-affiliated commenters combined, 98 percent of the 11,380 comments consisted of form letters, with minimal original content and often submitted by a third party vendor on the commenter’s behalf. 4 Id. PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 mostly without reference to a specific proposal and without suggesting alternatives or modifications. A. Community Common Bond The Act limits membership in a community credit union to ‘‘[p]ersons or organizations within a well-defined local community, neighborhood, or rural district,’’ 8 directing the Board to establish criteria defining those terms for purposes of ‘‘making any determination’’ regarding such a credit union,9 and to establish applicable criteria for any such determination.10 The Act does not impose for any of the three community categories a maximum limitation on population or geographic size, thus supporting the Board’s observation that ‘‘there is no statutory requirement or economic rationale that compels the Board to charter only the smallest [well-defined local community] in a particular area.’’ 11 To qualify as a well-defined local community (‘‘WDLC’’) or as a rural district, the Board requires a proposed area to have ‘‘specific geographic boundaries,’’ 12 and for residents within those boundaries to interact or share common interests that signify a cohesive community. Since 2010, the Board has offered two ‘‘presumptive community’’ options that by definition meet the statutory criteria of a WDLC. Each is based on uniform, objective geographic units. One is a ‘‘Single Political Jurisdiction . . . or any individual portion thereof’’ (each an ‘‘SPJ’’), regardless of population.13 The other is a single Core Based Statistical Area (‘‘CBSA’’ or ‘‘a statistical area,’’ or a portion thereof) as designated by the U.S. Census Bureau (‘‘Census’’), or a Metropolitan Division within a CBSA, subject in either case to a 2.5 million population limit.14 1. ‘‘Core Based Statistical Area’’ Population Limit. The existing 2.5 million population limit that applies to a community consisting of a CBSA, or a Metropolitan Division or other portion within, conforms to the population threshold by which the Office of Management and Budget (‘‘OMB’’) designates Metropolitan Divisions 8 12 U.S.C. 1759(b). § 1759(g)(1)(A). 10 Id. § 1759(g)(1)(B). 11 74 FR 68722, 68725 (Dec. 29, 2009). 12 Appendix B, Ch. 2, § V.A.2. 13 Appendix B, Ch. 2, § V.A.2. 14 Appendix B, Ch. 2, § V.A.2. According to the Census, ‘‘the term ‘core-based statistical area’ became effective in 2003 and refers collectively to metropolitan statistical areas and micropolitan statistical areas.’’ https://www.census.gov/geo/ reference/gtc/gtc_cbsa.html#md. 9 Id. E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations within a CBSA.15 The proposed rule retained the 2.5 million limit, but solicited public comment on whether to adjust it, to what amount, and for what specific reasons. The vast majority of commenters urged the Board to eliminate the population cap on statistical areas altogether because the Act does not mandate it. They maintained that an area’s population is unrelated to what should be the paramount considerations in identifying a local community, namely, interaction or common interests among residents, and the FCU’s ability and commitment to serve the area. The commenters also contended that, by imposing a population limit, the Board is substituting its judgment for Census data, by which CBSAs are designated without regard to population, and that population alone is not a source of undue risk to an FCU or to the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (‘‘the Insurance Fund’’). Finally, some commenters protested that a population cap on statistical areas puts FCUs at a competitive disadvantage compared to communities consisting of an SPJ, which are not limited by population. Some commenters advocated increasing the present cap from 2.5 million to between 3.5 million and as much as 5 million, respectively, to ensure the long-term growth and viability of FCUs in general. Others urged increasing the population limit to match that of the most populous SPJ the Board has approved (Los Angeles County, CA, at 10 million), or that of the nation’s most populous Metropolitan Statistical Area (New York-NewarkJersey City, NY-NJ-PA Metro Area at 20 million). One commenter recommended linking the population limit to an appropriate index that would trigger periodic reevaluation and possible adjustment of the existing limit. In contrast, dozens of commenters criticized the existing 2.5 million cap as being too high, urging that it be reduced. One insisted that the 2.5 million cap is not a credible ‘‘indicator of common, close-knit interaction.’’ Another predicted that an area as populous as 10 million could qualify as a local community as long as its residents ‘‘interact in some way . . . within lines drawn by NCUA.’’ Yet another criticized the Board for implying that the existing 2.5 million cap is too low only by comparison to the most populous SPJs the Board has approved (e.g., Los Angeles County, CA, and Harris County, TX). The Board finds considerable merit in commenters’ suggestions to eliminate the population cap, increase the present population cap to a given amount, tie the cap to the population of a certain geographic unit, or administer any cap according to a framework of oversight and internal controls. Out of concern that the public should have notice and an opportunity to address such recommendations, as the Administrative Procedure Act requires,16 the Board has decided to make no change to the existing 2.5 million population cap at this time. Instead, the Board will issue a proposal soliciting public comment on alternatives to modify the cap, and an alternative to the ‘‘presumptive community’’ options to form a WDLC. 2. ‘‘Core Area’’ Service Requirement. Since 2010, the Board has required a community consisting of a portion of a CBSA to include the CBSA’s ‘‘core area,’’ 17 defined in practice as the most populated county or named municipality in a CBSA’s title. The Act itself does not mandate any such requirement for a community. The proposed rule repealed the ‘‘core area’’ service requirement in favor of relying on NCUA’s practice of annually reviewing an FCU’s business and marketing plans, for the first three years following approval of a community charter expansion or conversion, to assess whether the credit union is adequately serving the intended beneficiaries of the requirement— namely low-income and underserved populations within an original or an expanded community.18 The majority of commenters favored repeal of the ‘‘core area’’ service requirement, primarily because it is not mandated by the Act and thus unnecessarily imposes an additional constraint on who credit unions can serve. They further speculated that relief from an obligation to serve a ‘‘core area’’ will give FCUs the flexibility to adapt to the specific area each initially is able to reasonably and safely serve, allowing it to establish and maintain a ‘‘marketplace footprint’’ there. Other commenters criticized the ‘‘core area’’ service requirement for dividing an otherwise viable community or excluding portions that would enhance its viability; for causing an FCU to sacrifice service to other areas within the chosen portion of a CBSA; and as a disincentive to serve populated urban areas due to the additional cost and resources of serving a ‘‘core area.’’ 16 5 15 https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/ omb/bulletins/2015/15-01.pdf (at page 62). VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 U.S.C. 553(c). FR 36257, 36260 (June 25, 2010). 18 80 FR at 76749. 17 75 PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 88413 A few commenters suggested alternatives in lieu of applying a ‘‘core area’’ service requirement to a portion of a CBSA. One is to permit an FCU to develop a presence, reputation and services to enable it to later expand into the ‘‘core area’’ of a CBSA. The other is to defer to the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions and to the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund regarding how best to identify and to provide service to low-income and underserved populations.19 In contrast, bank-affiliated commenters generally favored retaining the ‘‘core area’’ service requirement. One predicted that its absence would effectively permit ‘‘redlining’’ through formation of a community primarily consisting of wealthier areas within a CBSA, while excluding areas where low-income and minority populations are concentrated. Another urged the Board to retain the ‘‘core area’’ service requirement given that, unless expressly required by state law, credit unions typically are not subject to the Community Reinvestment Act, which requires financial institutions other than credit unions to publicly document service to people of modest means.20 What critics of repealing the ‘‘core area’’ service requirement overlook is that NCUA has in place a supervisory process to assess management’s efforts to offer service to the entire community an FCU seeks to serve. NCUA holds credit union management accountable for the results of an annual evaluation that encompasses a community FCU’s implementation of its business and marketing plans,21 extending for three years after the credit union either is chartered, converts or expands. Experience confirms that the agency’s evaluations are a more effective means of ensuring that the low-income and underserved populations are fairly served compared to the rest of the community, in contrast to a requirement forcing a credit union to serve the ‘‘core area’’ of the portion of a CBSA that comprises its community. The Board considered extending this review period to five years, but has declined to do so, 19 For Underserved Area purposes, the Act, at 12 U.S.C. 1759(c)(2)(A)(i), relies on the Community Development Banking and Financial Institutions Act, id. § 4702(16)(A), to define an ‘‘investment area,’’ which, among other things, can consist of an ‘‘empowerment zone’’ or ‘‘enterprise community’’ as defined by 26 U.S.C. 1391. 20 12 U.S.C. 2902(2) 21 The results of an annual evaluation of an FCU’s implementation of its business and marketing plans typically would be reflected in the ‘‘findings’’ or ‘‘overview’’ sections of an examination report, or in a ‘‘Document of Resolution’’ issued following an examination. E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 88414 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES believing that three years is sufficient time to gauge a credit union’s commitment to serve an original or expanded area, and that the additional two years of projections would be too stale to be probative. Another relevant part of the supervisory process is the agency’s mandate to consider member complaints alleging discriminatory practices affecting low-income and underserved populations, such as redlining, and to respond as necessary when such practices are shown to exist. Having considered the comments addressing repeal of the ‘‘core area’’ service requirement, and because it is not a requirement mandated by the Act, the Board has decided to repeal it in view of credit unions’ success in providing financial services to lowincome and underserved populations without regard to where they are located within a community, i.e., beyond its ‘‘core area.’’ This assessment is based on the periodic evaluations, overseen or conducted by the Office of Consumer Protection since 2010, of FCUs’ implementation of their business and marketing plans.22 In place of the ‘‘core area’’ service requirement, the final rule requires NCUA to continue these evaluations to ensure fair and adequate service to the low-income and underserved populations within a community consisting of a portion of a CBSA. 3. Population Limit as Applied to a Portion of a ‘‘Core Based Statistical Area’’. The existing rule disqualifies a portion of a CBSA as a WDLC when the population of the CBSA as a whole exceeds the 2.5 million population cap, even when the population of the portion by itself does not exceed that limit—an unintended consequence.23 To correct this oversight, the proposed rule modified the ‘‘statistical area’’ definition to specify that in the case of a community consisting of a portion of either a CBSA or a Metropolitan Division within, the portion by itself must have a population of 2.5 million or fewer, regardless whether the CBSA or Metropolitan Division as a whole exceeds the limit. The majority of commenters supported this technical remedy in 22 For communities with a population of less than 1 million, NCUA regional offices conduct the review of business and marketing plans to assess an FCU’s service to the community as a whole, including low-income and underserved populations within. They report the results to the Office of Consumer Protection semi-annually. For communities with a population of 1 million or greater, the Office of Consumer Protection itself conducts the review and assessment. 23 Appendix B, Ch. 2, § V.A.2. (‘‘statistical area’’ definition). VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 order to prevent the unintended disqualification of a portion of a CBSA that falls within the population cap solely because the CBSA as a whole exceeds it. In that event, an FCU would have no recourse but to serve an area smaller than the portion it seeks to serve (e.g., an SPJ consisting of a city or town). Although many commenters opposed the existing 2.5 million population cap as excessive, none opposed this proposal to narrowly apply the cap exclusively to the portion of a CBSA that an FCU designates as its community. Having considered the comments addressing this proposal, the Board considers it an appropriate remedial initiative to limit to the population cap adopted in the final rule the portion of a CBSA a credit union seeks to serve. 4. ‘‘Combined Statistical Area’’ as a Well-Defined Local Community. The existing rule designates two ‘‘presumptive communities’’ that by definition qualify as a WDLC—an SPJ regardless of population, and a CBSA subject to a 2.5 million population limit.24 The proposed rule added a third ‘‘presumptive community’’: A Combined Statistical Area as designated by OMB,25 subject to the same population limit. The 174 Combined Statistical Areas that OMB has designated each combine ‘‘two or more adjacent CBSAs that have substantial employment interchange.’’ 26 As with any community an FCU seeks to serve, a Combined Statistical Area would be subject to NCUA’s practice of periodically reviewing the FCU’s implementation of its business and marketing plans to assess its capability of, and success in, serving its original or previously expanded community. Scores of commenters supported the proposal to recognize Combined Statistical Areas as ‘‘presumptive communities,’’ concurring that OMB’s approach in designating Combined Statistical Areas is consistent with NCUA’s long-standing consideration of factors such as employment, commuting patterns and economic interaction to identify a WDLC. These commenters further contended that Combined Statistical Areas are appropriate ‘‘presumptive communities’’ according to social and economic integration among residents within them, apart from strict population and density 24 75 FR 36257 (June 25, 2010). Bulletin No. 15–01 to Heads of Executive Departments and Establishments (July 15, 2015) at: https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/ omb/bulletins/2015/1-01.pdf. 26 U.S. Census Bureau, Geographic Terms and Concepts, at: https://www.census.gov/geo/ reference/gtc/gtc_cbsa.html#md. 25 OMB PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 numbers, because Combined Statistical Areas represent the same ‘‘commonality of substantial employment interchange’’ that an individual CBSA’s residents must have. In addition, commenters cited certain benefits of recognizing Combined Statistical Areas as ‘‘presumptive communities.’’ One is the flexibility to serve multiple counties located within a single Combined Statistical Area, or to expand a community beyond an individual CBSA’s boundaries. Another is the opportunity for an FCU serving a single CBSA with a population less than 2.5 million to further expand in scope up to that limit. Another benefit is the addition of Combined Statistical Areas to the menu of safe and sound strategic options for an FCU to grow and survive once it reaches a saturation level within its present FOM. Finally, one commenter supported the recognition of Combined Statistical Areas as ‘‘presumptive’’ communities as a ‘‘welcomed change that is obviously within the confines [of the Act].’’ Another cited an OMB pronouncement in support of Government agency use of Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Area or Combined Statistical Area delineations to develop a nonstatistical program, as long as the agency seeks public comment on the proposed use 27—as the Board did in this rulemaking through the proposed rule. Bank trade associations opposed recognizing Combined Statistical Areas as ‘‘presumptive communities.’’ One criticized the proposal as exceeding the reasonable definition of ‘‘local.’’ Others contended that a Combined Statistical Area necessarily is too expansive to be ‘‘local’’ because it ‘‘represents larger regions’’ that can encompass thousands of square miles crossing county and state borders. One opponent predicted that Combined Statistical Areas would be used to create state-wide FOMs, believing that this was not what Congress intended. Another claimed that Congress sought to impose narrow limits on areas a community credit union serves. These commenters overlook certain facts that contradict the notion that a Combined Statistical Area is too expansive to be ‘‘local.’’ First, of the 174 designated Combined Statistical Areas, the 22 largest would not qualify as a WDLC because each, as a whole, exceeds the 2.5 million population cap. Second, the average geographic size among the 152 Combined Statistical Areas that would each qualify as a WDLC, at 4553 square miles, is comparable to the average geographic 27 OMB E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM Bulletin No. 15–01 supra note 24. 07DER4 asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations size among the 243 individual CBSAs the Board has approved since 2010, at 4572 square miles. Having considered the comments addressing the proposal to recognize a Combined Statistical Areas as a ‘‘presumptive community,’’ the Board adopts the proposal given that a Combined Statistical Area simply unifies, as a single community, two or more contiguous CBSAs that each independently meet the existing rule’s definition of a ‘‘statistical area’’ that presumptively qualifies as a WDLC. Accordingly, subject to the existing 2.5 million population limit for a CBSA, the rule adds to the ‘‘statistical area’’ definition ‘‘all or an individual portion of . . . a Combined Statistical Area designated by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget.’’ 28 5. Addition of an Adjacent Area to a Well-Defined Local Community. The existing rule does not, for general use, give credit unions the option to submit a narrative, supported by objective documentation, that an FCU contends will demonstrate common interests or interaction among residents of a proposed community (the ‘‘narrative model’’).29 The proposed rule allows credit unions to once again use a narrative approach supported by objective documentation to demonstrate that an area adjacent to a community consisting of an SPJ, a CBSA or a Combined Statistical Area qualifies as part of that local community. The credit union, using objective documentation, must demonstrate that the adjacent area is logically part of a WDLC that includes an SPJ, CBSA, or Combined Statistical Area due to common interests or interaction among residents on both sides of the perimeter. The expanded community still is subject to the applicable population limit. Any FCU has the option of pursuing a community charter that combines an adjacent area with all or a portion of an SPJ, CBSA or Combined Statistical Area. To support such an expansion, an FCU with a proven track record in serving an existing FOM may be permitted to use an agency-prescribed set of relaxed business plan requirements, as set forth in the final rule.30 However, a credit union without an established track record of serving a community, such as a credit union converting to a 28 Appendix B, Ch. 2, § V.A.2. 2010, the Board abandoned the narrative model in favor of giving credit unions an option among ‘‘presumptive communities’’ that each by definition qualifies as a WDLC. 75 FR 36257, 36260 (June 25, 2010). 30 80 FR at 76750; Appendix B, Ch. 2, § V.B. 29 In VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 community charter, will need to provide a full business and marketing plan. Most credit union-affiliated commenters supported the proposal to permit a community credit union to add an adjacent area upon narrative proof of common interests or interaction among residents of the expanded community. They recommended that option as a logical advance in business development because it would allow an FCU to add an adjacent area without requiring it to discontinue serving its existing community. However, several commenters opposed the requirement that an FCU must support its application to add an adjacent area with a business plan demonstrating its postexpansion commitment and ability to serve the entire community. Bank trade associations opposed the concept of permitting adjacent area additions to a community, regardless how common interests or interaction among residents is demonstrated, and in a few cases opposed it conditionally. Without specifying a substantive or procedural objection, some commenters asserted that the Board lacks statutory authority to implement the proposal. Another contended that, due to the breadth and scope of the banking industry, the adjacent areas the proposal addresses do not lack sufficient access to financial services. Still another complained that approval of an adjacent area addition on the basis of NCUA’s qualitative assessment of a narrative would render the process nontransparent. Two critical commenters conditioned their opposition to the proposal to allow adjacent area additions on certain modifications. The first would be to require the Board develop a complete record confirming that the proposed adjacent area meets six interaction or common interest characteristics among its residents, rather than accepting on its face the supporting information the credit union provides. The second would be, in each case, to require the Board to then publish a notice in the Federal Register inviting public comment on whether the proposed adjacent area is a WDLC. The Act gives the Board broad discretion to define a WDLC for purposes of ‘‘making any determination’’ regarding a community credit union,31 and to establish criteria to apply to any such determination.32 Under that authority, the Board proposed a set of criteria that a narrative should address, and which NCUA staff would consider in evaluating an 31 12 32 Id. PO 00000 U.S.C. 1759(g)(1)(A) (emphasis added). § 1759(g)(1)(B). Frm 00005 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 88415 application to add an adjacent area to an existing community.33 In contrast, the Act did not require NCUA to effectively subject each such application to a referendum by means of notice and an opportunity for the public to comment. In that event, the volume of community charter, conversion and expansion applications the agency’s staff receives each year (an annual average of eightyseven since 2010) would make it impracticable to seek public comment on each proposed adjacent area addition, and would needlessly consume agency resources. Further, a notice and opportunity to comment on each application, followed by agency review of the comments, would delay credit union service to the residents of the adjacent area in each case. Having considered the comments addressing the proposal to permit an adjacent area addition to a community and, for that limited purpose, to accept narrative proof of common interests and interaction among residents, the Board has decided to adopt the proposal in the final rule.34 In addition, the Office of Consumer Protection, or its successor, will separately issue guidance on the criteria introduced in the proposed rule that a narrative should address to support the addition of an adjacent area, and which the Board will consider in deciding an FCU’s application to do so. The guidance may specify a certain number of criteria that, if met, would presumptively qualify an adjacent area for approval. 6. Individual Congressional District as a Well-Defined Local Community. Although not prohibited by statute, since 1999 the Board has maintained that Congressional districts and whole states do not qualify as a WDLC, even though both are well-defined.35 In the December 2015 proposed rule, the Board reconsidered its policy and, as a result, proposed to recognize an individual Congressional district as a SPJ, thus qualifying each as a ‘‘presumptive community’’ without regard to population.36 As with any other community charter application, the proposal required an FCU to support its application to serve a Congressional district with a business and marketing plan demonstrating its ability and 33 80 FR at 76772 (referring to the presence of an economic hub, quasi-governmental agencies, Government designated programs, shared public services and facilities, and colleges and universities). 34 Appendix B, Ch. 2, § V.A.2. 35 63 FR 72012, 72013, 72037 (Dec. 30, 1998); Appendix B, Ch. 2, § V.A.2. See also 75 FR at 36258 (affirming that entire state is not acceptable as WDLC). 36 Appendix B, Ch. 2, § V.A.1. E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES 88416 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations commitment to serve the entire community. At least a thousand credit unionaffiliated commenters supported the proposal to recognize Congressional districts as SPJs; only one opposed it.37 The supporters emphasized that the Act never restricted Congressional districts from qualifying as a WDLC, thus giving the Board latitude to reconsider its original policy disqualifying them. One commenter characterized Congressional districts as the ‘‘ultimate political jurisdictions’’ because their average population of about 710,000 is far less than that of many SPJs, and less than the population threshold by which OMB may divide a CBSA into Metropolitan Divisions (2.5 million). Another suggested that a community consisting of an individual Congressional district should be allowed to encompass a certain radius of miles beyond the district’s boundaries. In contrast, hundreds of bank-affiliated commenters opposed recognition of individual Congressional districts as SPJs. The Board has considered the comments addressing the proposal to recognize an individual Congressional district as a ‘‘presumptive community.’’ Notwithstanding certain merits of the proposal, the Board has decided to defer action on it at this time, consistent with an incremental approach to introducing, and permitting credit unions to acclimate to, other significant community common bond enhancements adopted in the final rule (e.g., Combined Statistical Areas, adjacent area additions, and an increased population limit and a new multi-state expansion limit on Rural Districts). As a result, the final rule does not designate an individual Congressional district as a ‘‘presumptive community.’’ 7. Commenters’ Recommendations in Response to the Proposed Rule. Several commenters initiated community common bond recommendations that the Board did not propose. The first commenter-initiated recommendation was that the Board accept as a ‘‘presumptive community’’ (in addition to CBSA and SPJ that the existing rule permits) any ‘‘Federal, state or other statistical model’’ an FCU chooses to designate as its community. The second recommendation was that the Board extend membership eligibility to nonprofit organizations that provide services to the community a credit union serves, regardless whether the 37 The single credit union-affiliated opponent alleged a lack of ‘‘commonality’’ among residents of a Congressional district because it is ‘‘skewed for political reasons to enable election of a certain party’s candidates.’’ VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 organization is headquartered or located there (as the existing rule requires). The third recommendation was that the Board accept for general use a narrative to demonstrate interaction or common interests among residents to support any application to charter, expand or to convert to a community credit union (not just in support of an adjacent area addition, as the final rule provides). The fourth recommendation was that the Board, by regulation, permit a multiple common bond credit union that converts to a community charter to add and serve new members from its preconversion select employee groups (‘‘SEGs’’) now located outside its community boundaries. This proposal would interpret the Act’s ‘‘grandfathered members and groups’’ exception 38 to permit what would effectively be a ‘‘once a SEG, always a SEG regardless of common bond’’ policy allowing a multiple common bond credit union to retain those outside SEGs after it converts to a community charter. The Administrative Procedure Act (‘‘APA’’) prohibits the Board from adopting these four recommendations in the final rule because the proposed rule did not introduce them for public comment, thus not ‘‘provid[ing] sufficient factual detail and rationale for the rule to permit interested parties to comment meaningfully.’’ 39 Nor is any of the four recommendations a logical outgrowth of a proposal that was introduced for public comment in the December 2015 proposed rule. As a result, the public was not given reasonable notice and an opportunity to address these commenters’ recommendations. B. Rural District Definition The Act does not mandate a population limit for a Rural District. However, to qualify as a Rural District, the existing rule restricts the area’s total population to the greater of either 250,000 people or 3 percent of the 38 The ‘‘grandfathered members and groups’’ exception provides that ‘‘Notwithstanding [section 1759(b)]—(i) any person or organization that is a member of any Federal credit union as of August 7, 1998, may remain a member of the credit union after August 7, 1998; and (ii) a member of any group whose members constituted a portion of the membership of any Federal credit union as of August 7, 1998, shall continue to be eligible to become a member of that credit union, by virtue of membership in that group, after August 7, 1998.’’ 12 U.S.C. 1759(c)(1)(A). 39 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3), 706(2)(A); United States Telecom Ass’n v. Federal Communications Commission, 2016 WL 3251234 (slip op. page 10); CSX Transp., Inc. v. Surface Transp. Bd., 584 F.3d 1076 (D.C. Cir. 2009); Ass’n of Private Sector Colleges and Univ. v. Duncan, 681 F.3d 427 (D.C. Cir. 2012). PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 population of the state in which the majority of the proposed Rural District’s residents would be located.40 In addition, either at least 50 percent of the proposed Rural District’s population must reside in geographic units the Census designates as ‘‘rural,’’ or the proposed Rural District’s population density cannot exceed 100 persons per square mile.41 1. Population Limit. The proposed rule modified the present Rural District definition to increase the population limit from 250,000 to 1 million persons to ensure that the population of a Rural District is sufficient to provide a level of operating efficiencies and scale that would make the area attractive as a strategic option, and to facilitate credit unions’ statutory responsibility to provide consumers, including persons of modest means who may reside in rural areas, with access to our national system of cooperative credit. The proposed rule also omitted as redundant the alternative population limitation of 3 percent of the population of the state in which the majority of the Rural District’s residents would be located. Nearly all of the credit unionaffiliated commenters who addressed the proposed population increase to 1 million supported it, provided the Board does not eliminate the population cap on Rural Districts altogether. They dismissed the cap as superfluous in view of other qualifying criteria—the existing minimum population density and ‘‘rural’’ designation options and, if it were adopted, the multi-state expansion limit. They further contend that the characteristics of a Rural District do not change much as its population fluctuates. Conversely, one commenter conditioned its support for a 1 million population cap on elimination of the population density criterion, arguing that (at 100 persons per square mile) it is unduly low in any case. Others believed that the sole criterion to qualify as a Rural District should be a credit union’s ability to serve the area, as demonstrated by business and marketing plans, including via online services to members. To expand a Rural District, these commenters urged that the decisive factor should be evidence of the contiguous area’s economic and social ties to the pre-expansion Rural District. One commenter suggested permitting an area to qualify as a Rural District so long as the Census does not classify it as either an ‘‘urban area’’ or 40 Appendix B, Ch. 2, § V.A.2. 41 Id. E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations an ‘‘urban cluster.’’ 42 Instead of relying on ‘‘rural’’ versus ‘‘urban’’ distinctions, another commenter urged the Board to treat a Rural District the same as the final rule treats an adjacent area addition to a community, i.e., allow the use of a narrative to demonstrate interaction and common interests among proposed Rural District residents. Apart from the preference to eliminate the Rural District population cap, several commenters predicted that a 1 million population cap would open up consumer choice for a cooperative form of financial institution, helping credit unions to serve the low wage workers who dominate certain rural markets. Others emphasized the difficulty of delineating the borders of a Rural District versus an urban community, due to scattered population hubs and widely dispersed individuals and businesses, and urged the Board to modify its rules to facilitate credit union service to those areas. Six bank-affiliated trade associations objected to the proposal because it quadrupled the Rural District population cap. These commenters stated that the proposal was an unreasonable interpretation of the statutory terms ‘‘rural’’ and ‘‘local.’’ They expressed concern that credit unions will exploit the increased population cap to combine densely populated and thinly populated areas into a single area to meet the population density limit, and to create state-wide fields of membership. To limit Rural District expansions, one commenter urged NCUA to require the majority of persons within a proposed Rural District to reside in geographic units the Census designates as ‘‘rural.’’ Another commenter opposed the use of similar Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (‘‘CFPB’’) designations of ‘‘rural’’ counties, which would qualify approximately 3 out of 4 counties in the commenter’s state for a Rural District expansion, believing that such a result would exceed a reasonable interpretation of ‘‘local’’ and ‘‘rural.’’ On the assumption that the Act requires a Rural District to be ‘‘local,’’ a commenter maintained that ‘‘a Rural District encompassing a large region inherently would lack interaction or common interests among residents and thus inconsistent with the Act.’’ These views rely on a pair of misconceptions: That ‘‘local’’ as used in section 1759(b) and (g) modifies ‘‘rural district,’’ when in fact it does not; and 42 For Census identification of ‘‘urban areas’’ and ‘‘urban clusters,’’ see https://www.census.gov/geo/ reference/ua/urban-rural-2010.html. VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 that a ‘‘local’’ area and a ‘‘rural’’ area necessarily share similar characteristics, which they inherently do not. In any case, a Rural District by its very nature typically covers an area that is too large to be considered ‘‘local.’’ As the proposed rule explained, a Rural District must have a population sufficient to enable it to provide a level of operating efficiencies and scale that will make it attractive to credit unions as a strategic option. In that regard, a commenter questioned why a population of 1 million is needed to achieve that objective when, according to the commenter, community banks manage to serve far fewer than 1 million people located in rural areas. Another commenter expressed concern that NCUA will exploit the need for ‘‘operating efficiencies’’ to raise the Rural District population cap beyond 1 million. Having considered the comments addressing the Rural District population cap, the Board has decided to set the rural district population cap at 1 million, as proposed. The Board believes this higher limit will achieve a ‘‘balance . . . between permitting rural districts to be large enough to be economically viable but not unreasonably large taking into account the purpose of the rural district,’’ 43 and will bring affordable financial services to portions of the country that would not otherwise meet the requirements of a WDLC. A higher population cap is supported by the Board’s experience since 2013 with eight credit unions, in four different states, serving Rural Districts with an average population of 536,646.44 The ability of these credit unions to bring affordable financial services to more populated areas has convinced the Board that a population cap should permit additional growth opportunities in rural areas. These opportunities would assist credit unions located in areas where residents are unable to readily interact or share common interests to support a WDLC— which is subject to a much higher population cap—even though these residents need access to affordable financial services. The existing rule provides an alternative population limit of 3 percent of the population of the state in which a majority of a rural districts residents are located. Under that alternative, the 43 78 FR 13460, 13462 (Feb. 28, 2013). of these eight Rural Districts was approved under the existing rule despite a population in excess of 250,000 because, in each case, its population was less than 3 percent of the population of the state in which the majority of the Rural District’s residents were located. 44 Each PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 88417 Board has approved 8 rural districts above the general population limit of 250,000. Moreover, that alternative already allows a rural district with a population of at least 1 million in one state, and of at least 800,000 in another. Having set a 1 million precedent in one state, the purpose of the alternative limit also justifies a fixed 1 million population cap for the other 49 states— a high enough cap to accommodate not only the hub area within a rural district, but also the surrounding population of potential members, to support the rural district’s economic viability. In view of this objective, a 1 million cap is appropriate because it strikes an appropriate balance between economic viability and an excessive population. It also leaves credit unions that already serve a Rural District, as well as those that would consider doing so, sufficient flexibility going forward to maintain economic viability and to maximize penetration of the potential membership base. Most importantly, an increased cap will enhance consumer access to our national system of cooperative credit, particularly those of modest means in rural areas, who may otherwise lack access to a not-for-profit cooperative credit union. In this regard, the Board finds it compelling that in 97 percent of non-metropolitan counties, more than 50 percent of the population is either low, moderate, or middle income.45 Accordingly, the final rule increases the Rural District population cap to 1 million, while still requiring credit unions to demonstrate an intent and ability to serve the entire area. Bank-associated commenters speculated that larger regions would lack interaction or common interests among their residents. What these commenters overlook is that these defining characteristics of a WDLC do not apply to a Rural District. Rather, primarily due to the sparsely distributed population in rural areas,46 the defining characteristic of a Rural District necessarily is population density. The Board believes that increasing the population limit on rural districts is warranted by the contemporary economic realities of serving sparsely populated areas. The penetration rate among community charters typically is five percent. As a result, for a credit union serving a rural district to thrive, a sufficiently large population base is essential to enable it to offer financial services economically. Although some commenters believe that the higher limit would give credit unions an unfair 45 https://www.ffiec.gov/geocode/help3.aspx 46 74 E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM FR 68722, 68723 (December 29, 2009). 07DER4 asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES 88418 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations competitive advantage, the reality is that credit unions in rural districts are subject to restrictions on who they may serve, unlike other types of financial institutions. The Board believes that the objective of expanding opportunities for credit unions to serve more consumers in rural areas outweighs any perceived impact on competition. The Board’s concern about excessive expansion of rural districts is addressed below. 2. Multi-State Expansion Limit. The existing rule permits the expansion of a Rural District beyond the boundaries of the state in which the FCU maintains its headquarters. To achieve consistency with Census recognition of expansive rural areas while appropriately limiting multi- state expansion, the proposed rule revised the present Rural District definition (population limit plus either sparse population density or a ‘‘rural’’ designation) to confine a Rural District’s expansion to the boundaries of the states that are immediately contiguous to the state in which the FCU approved to serve the Rural District is headquartered (i.e., not to exceed the outer perimeter of the layer of states immediately bordering the headquarters state). Relatively few commenters addressed the proposed multi-state expansion limit. Some of the credit union-affiliated commenters opposed the multi-state expansion limit as redundant, suggesting that it should be eliminated in view of the population cap, which would function as an appropriate check on overexpansion. Conversely, others advocated retaining the multi-state expansion limit, provided the population cap on Rural Districts is eliminated. One commenter urged that the sole criterion for approving a Rural District should be the credit union’s ability to serve an area lacking in access to credit union service, including by technological means. The few bank commenters who addressed the proposed multi-state expansion limit opposed the concept of multi-state Rural Districts altogether, dismissing it as a means to effectively allow state-wide and multi-state FOMs. In contrast to these comments, the Board’s purpose is to have dual limitations that each serve a unique purpose—one on population, the other on geographic area size. Therefore, having considered the comments addressing the proposed multi-state limit on Rural District expansions, the Board has decided to adopt it without alteration in the final rule. Accordingly, the final rule provides that, to qualify as a Rural District, an area’s boundaries must ‘‘not exceed the outer boundaries of the states that are immediately VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 contiguous to the state in which the credit union maintains its headquarters (i.e., not to exceed the outer perimeter of the layer of states immediately surrounding the headquarters state).’’ 47 C. Underserved Areas The Act authorizes the Board to allow multiple common bond credit unions to serve members residing in an ‘‘underserved area,’’ provided the FCU establishes and maintains a facility ‘‘in’’ the area.48 To qualify as ‘‘underserved,’’ an area must, among other criteria, be ‘‘underserved . . . by other depository institutions . . ., based on data of the Board and the Federal banking agencies.’’ 49 In the absence of a specific test or criteria to assess such ‘‘underservice,’’ the Board developed a ‘‘concentration of facilities ratio’’ (‘‘COF ratio’’) 50 that it has relied upon to determine whether a proposed area is underserved by other depository institutions. 1. Exclusion of Non-Depository Institutions and Non-Community Credit Unions from Concentration of Facilities Ratio. To prevent dilution and distortion of the COF ratio, as well as to strictly adhere to the letter and the spirit of the ‘‘depository institutions’’ definition,51 the proposed rule excluded non-depository banks (e.g., trust companies, which do not accept deposits from the general public) 52 and non-community credit unions (e.g., multiple common bond credit unions other than those already serving an Underserved Area) from the COF ratio. By definition or in practice, neither is capable of serving the general public of a proposed Underserved Area. Of the commenters who specifically addressed the proposed non-depository bank and non-community credit union exclusions from the COF ratio, most 47 Appendix B, Ch. 2, § V.A.2. U.S.C. 1759(c)(2). 49 Id. § 1759(c)(2)(A) citing id. § 461(b)(1)(A). The Act relies on the Community Development Banking and Financial Institutions Act to define ‘‘depository institution.’’ Id. § 4702(16). By definition, a ‘‘depository institution’’ is insured and includes credit unions. Id. § 461(b)(1)(A)(iv). 50 73 FR 73392 (Dec. 2, 2008). Using census tracts as the unit of measure, the concentration of facilities ratio compares the concentration of depository institution facilities among the population within the non-‘‘distressed’’ portions of the proposed area against the concentration of such facilities among the population of the area as a whole. 73 FR at 73396. Appendix B, Ch.3, § III.B.3. An area qualifies as underserved by other depository institutions when the concentration of facilities ratio within its non-‘‘distressed’’ census tracts exceeds the concentration of facilities ratio within the census tracts of the area as a whole. 51 12 U.S.C. 461(b)(1)(A). 52 As identified in FDIC’s ‘‘Summary of Deposits Survey,’’ e.g., https://www.fdic.gov/news/news/ financial/2015/fil15024.pdf. 48 12 PO 00000 Frm 00008 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 opposed the COF concept altogether, denouncing it as: Flawed, unduly cumbersome and incapable of producing a meaningful analysis; the cause of unnecessary disapprovals; and a disincentive to serve an Underserved Area.53 However, assuming the Board would retain the COF ratio, 41 credit union-affiliated commenters supported both exclusions. Other commenters urge that once a Government agency designates an area as ‘‘underserved,’’ the Board should not require the FCU to also demonstrate that the area is ‘‘underserved by other depository institutions’’ (even though the Act mandates exactly that); should disregard the number of depository institutions already serving the area (even though the Act mandates the opposite); and should exempt underserved areas from the population cap that applies to a CBSA. These commenters maintained that greater flexibility concerning Underserved Area criteria would reduce burden— presently a disincentive for credit unions to expand service to an Underserved Area. However, these commenters overlooked the Act’s explicit requirement that an area be ‘‘underserved by other depository institutions’’ 54 regardless of the other statutory criteria, in order to qualify as an Underserved Area. One commenter asked the Board to clarify how shared branches would count to determine whether an area is ‘‘underserved by other depository institutions’’ (i.e., whether each shared branch participant counts as an individual depository institution, or the shared branch as a whole counts as a single depository institution regardless of the number of participating institutions). As an incentive to serve Underserved Areas, another commenter asked the Board to develop and make public a list of Underserved Areas that qualify under the applicable criteria (effectively pre-approving them) in 53 As the Board explained when it proposed the COF ratio: ‘‘CUMAA did not specify a methodology for determining whether a proposed area meets the ‘underserved . . . by other depository institutions’ test; instead, it broadly refers to unspecified ‘data of the [NCUA] Board and the Federal banking agencies.’ 12 U.S.C. 1759(c)(2)(A)(ii). In the decade since CUMAA, raw data has accumulated within government on branch locations and the volume of business in certain products and services, but meaningful and reliable data on these points has only recently become readily accessible. This data makes it possible to quantify and compare the presence of financial institution facilities in a given area. The proposed rule suggests [the COF ratio as] a flexible methodology that relies on publicly available population data and data on the location of financial institution branches.’’ 73 FR 34366, 34369 (June 17, 2008). See also 73 FR 73392, 73396 (Dec. 2, 2008). 54 12 U.S.C. 1759(c)(2)(A)(ii). E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES order to conserve the resources credit unions otherwise must devote to identifying Underserved Areas. Although many bank-affiliated commenters opposed the concept of the COF ratio altogether, one supported the proposed exclusions. Having considered the comments addressing the proposed exclusions from the COF ratio, the Board considers the proposal an appropriate improvement and, therefore, implements both exclusions in the final rule. 2. Alternatives to Identify Areas ‘‘Underserved by Other Depository Institutions.’’ As alternatives to using the COF ratio to assess whether a proposed area is underserved by other depository institutions, the proposed rule permitted use of ‘‘underserved county’’ designations by the CFPB,55 as well as a metric of a credit union’s own choosing provided it is based on NCUA or other Federal banking agency data.56 In addition, the proposed rule invited commenters to identify other methodologies and Federal banking agency data that would be useful to objectively determine whether an area is ‘‘underserved by other depository institutions.’’ Credit union-affiliated commenters suggested various metrics to use in addition to, or instead of, the COF ratio to assess the existing level of service by depository institutions already present in a proposed Underserved Area. These included the CFPB’s ‘‘underserved’’ county designations, and Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (‘‘HMDA’’) data indicating the number of depository institutions that meet a minimum ratio of mortgage loans extended to residents within an area versus borrowers from outside, and to persons below a certain credit score limit. In many cases, the suggested metric is generic because the commenter did not specify the data the metric would rely on and/or the source of the data.57 A single bank commenter opposed the use of alternative metrics altogether, finding it inappropriate to 55 CFPB’s annual ‘‘Rural or underserved counties list’’ does not segregate ‘‘rural’’ and ‘‘underserved’’ counties. Therefore, NCUA will use the data collected by CFPB to produce and make available a list that identifies ‘‘underserved areas’’ exclusively. 56 E.g., FDIC ‘‘Summary of Deposits Survey,’’ supra note 51. 57 E.g., U.S. Department of Agriculture data; Pew Research Center reports; changes in an area’s characteristics between decennial Censuses; local economic factors; local poverty rates; local unemployment rate; local median family income; and reports and surveys an applicant credit union itself develops. VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 allow credit unions to rely on a metric of their own choosing. Having considered the comments suggesting alternative metrics to determine whether a proposed area is underserved by other depository institutions, the Board has decided to accept the CFPB’s ‘‘underserved county’’ designations as a proxy for a determination of ‘‘underservice.’’ The Board also will consider an FCU-chosen metric, provided it is based on NCUA or Federal banking agency data. An example of such a metric would be relevant data from the publicly available reports of Community Reinvestment Act examinations conducted by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (‘‘FDIC’’), the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency or the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, or from HMDA data collected by these agencies.58 Accordingly, the final rule provides that ‘‘a proposed area will qualify as ‘underserved by other depository institutions’ if it is designated as, or is within, an ‘underserved county’ according to data produced by the CFPB. . . . NCUA will make a list of ‘underserved counties’ available on its Web site.’’ 59 Alternatively, the final rule permits a credit union to submit for approval ‘‘a metric of its own choosing that is based on NCUA or other Federal banking agency data, [that] establishes to NCUA that the proposed area is ‘underserved by other depository institutions.’ 60 3. Commenters’ Recommendations in Response to the Proposed Rule. In response to the proposed rule, a few commenters initiated Underserved Area recommendations of their own. The Board can adopt a regulatory proposal only when, and to the extent, it is authorized by law, and then only if it is supported by rational and reasonable policy conclusions as reflected in the rulemaking record.61 The first commenter recommendation was that the Board, by regulation, permit any charter type to add an Underserved Area, whereas the existing rule permits only a multiple common bond credit union to do so. To allow any charter type to serve an Underserved Area would require Congress to amend the Act, which presently limits Underserved Area additions to FCUs in the ‘‘the field of membership category of which is described in [section 1759(b)(2)],’’ i.e., exclusively a ‘‘multiple common-bond 58 12 U.S.C. 2902(2) B, Ch. 2, § III.B.3. 59 Appendix 60 Id. 61 5 PO 00000 credit union.’’ 62 Pending such an amendment to the Act, the Board lacks the authority to adopt the recommendation to allow any charter type to add an Underserved Area. The second commenter recommendation was that the Board permit ‘‘other technical means,’’ beyond what the existing ‘‘service facility’’ definition permits, to meet the Act’s explicit mandate that a credit union ‘‘establish and maintain an office or facility in’’ the Underserved Area it is approved to serve.63 For the Board to depart from this statutory mandate would require Congress to amend the Act to, for example, substitute ‘‘to serve’’ for the word ‘‘in.’’ Pending such an amendment to the Act, the Board lacks the authority to adopt the recommendation to permit a transactional Web site to qualify as a valid service facility within an Underserved Area. D. Multiple Common Bond As amended in 1998, the Act restored the Board’s multiple common bond policy, permitting a multiple common bond credit union to serve a combination of distinct, definable occupational and/or associational groups, provided each has its own common bond among group members.64 1. Credit Union’s ‘‘Reasonable Proximity’’ via Members’ Online Access to Services. When it is either impracticable or inconsistent with reasonable standards of safety and soundness for a group to form a standalone single common bond credit union, the Act requires ‘‘inclusion of [a new] group in the [FOM] of a credit union that is within reasonable proximity to the location of the group whenever practicable and consistent with reasonable standards for the safe and sound operation of the credit union.’’ 65 Solely to meet the ‘‘reasonable proximity’’ requirement, the Board proposed revising the definition of a ‘‘service facility’’ to include online internet access in the form of a transactional Web site that gives members of added occupational or associational groups access to their credit union’s products and services.66 62 12 U.S.C. 1759(c)(2). § 1759(c)(2)(B) (emphasis added). The Board authorized video teller machines in an opinion letter dated August 6, 2012, at: https:// www.ncua.gov/regulation-supervision/Pages/rules/ legal-opinions/2012/0965.aspx. 64 63 FR 71998, Dec. 30, 1998; 12 U.S.C. 1759(b)(2)(A). See NCUA v. First National Bank & Trust Co., 522 U.S. 479 (1988). 65 12 U.S.C. 1759(f)(1)(B) (emphasis added). 66 The revised definition would not permit an individual to qualify remotely for membership in a 63 Id. U.S.C. 706(2)(A). Frm 00009 Fmt 4701 88419 Continued Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES 88420 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations The Board noted the significant benefits of access via an electronic service facility, namely that it would put multiple common bond credit unions in parity with their depository institution competitors, and would permit them to keep pace with advances in technology that enable more efficient delivery of products and services to their members. Scores of credit union commenters supported the proposal to modify the definition of service facility to permit use of a transactional Web site to achieve reasonable proximity between a multiple common bond credit union and members of its added groups. These commenters contented that the proposal is within the Board’s authority to interpret the Act. As a practical matter, the commenters asserted that online proximity reflects the large and growing role of modern financial technology, making geographic location and physical branches less representative of the scope of a credit union’s service area. Online access would allow FCUs to efficiently meet their members’ needs and expectations. Commenters stated that while an FCU’s physical presence conveniently close to the groups it served may have been a practical necessity in the past, evolving technology has expanded the menu of options members have to interact with their financial institution, effectively putting them in close proximity regardless of geographic location. In contrast, scores of bank commenters opposed the proposal to amend the definition of service facility to include online access. They claimed that the proposal exceeds the Board’s statutory authority and is inconsistent with Congressional intent, in that an online internet channel would ‘‘effectively remove the statutory requirement that a multiple common bond FCU be in a ‘reasonable proximity to the location of the group.’’ Moreover, they criticized the proposal as inconsistent with NCUA’s prior interpretation of ‘‘reasonable proximity’’ as mandating an FCU branch office or mobile office physically near the group to be added. One commenter recommended that NCUA study the effect of the proposal on the wider financial services industry. The Board has considered the comments addressing the proposal to modify the definition of service facility to permit use of a transactional Web site community credit union based on electronic access to it from outside its well-defined local community. Nor would the revised definition apply to meet the requirement that a credit union serving an Underserved Area ‘‘must establish and maintain an office or facility in [the Underserved Area].’’ 66 12 U.S.C. 1759(c)(1)(B). VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 to achieve ‘‘reasonable proximity’’ between a multiple common bond credit union and members of its added groups. Notwithstanding certain merits of the proposal, the Board has decided to defer action on it at this time, consistent with an incremental approach to introducing the other FOM modifications adopted in the final rule, thus permitting credit unions to acclimate to them. The Board will further study the impact of the proposal.67 However, this decision does not detract from the Board’s belief in the utility of on-line access to facilitate transactions between credit unions and their members generally. 2. Inclusion of Select Employee Group Contractors in a Multiple Common Bond. The proposed rule extended to multiple occupational common bond credit unions the ability (that single common bond credit unions already have) 68 to add persons who work regularly for an entity that is under contract to any of the SEG sponsors listed in a credit union’s charter, provided there is a ‘‘strong dependency relationship’’ between the contractor and the SEG sponsor in each case. Scores of FCU commenters supported this proposal, believing that it better reflects today’s modern workforce, in which it is not uncommon for businesses to outsource work to contractors whose employees, although not directly employed by a SEG sponsor, are integral to the sponsor’s functioning and operations. In some cases, the employees of an independent contractor have worked for a SEG sponsor longer than many of the sponsor’s own employees, who were eligible for membership from the outset of their employment. As many commenters pointed out, there is no functional distinction between a single and multiple common bond credit union for purposes of recognizing the occupational common bond between a SEG sponsor’s own employees and those of its contractors with whom they work. These commenters noted that the proposal would allow greater flexibility for potential members to join an FCU, thus easing or eliminating unnecessary administrative burdens and restrictions on FCUs. As a result, they claimed that this proposal would help to expand the multiple common bond membership base nationally, thereby making affordable financial services available to more American consumers. 67 The Board notes that a shared branch or other facility can be used as an alternative to meet the ‘‘reasonable proximity’’ requirement. 68 Appendix B, Ch. 2 § II.A.1. PO 00000 Frm 00010 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 In contrast, bank commenters opposed the contractor eligibility proposal, arguing that it is inconsistent with the Act and its legislative history to include within a SEG the employees of its sponsor’s contractors. They asserted that the Act favors the formation of single common bond credit unions. Having considered the comments addressing inclusion of SEG contractors in a multiple common bond, the Board has determined that the proposal not only is consistent with the statute, but reflects the modern economy’s increasing reliance on contractors. Specifically, the Board notes the proposal’s consistency with the Act’s provisions requiring a stand-alone feasibility assessment above the 3000 member threshold. The strong mutual dependency of a SEG sponsor and its contractor on each other effectively cements the single common bond the sponsor’s employees and the contractor’s employees share with each other. Despite the Act’s preference for the formation of single common bond credit unions, the Act expressly permits a multiple common bond addition when a group cannot reasonably establish a single common bond credit union, or likely would be unable to successfully manage and sustain such a credit union.69 The addition of a contractor’s employees to a SEG consisting of the sponsor’s employees with whom they work is consistent with that approach. Accordingly, the final rule provides that a multiple occupational common bond credit union may add persons who work regularly for an entity that is under contract to any of the SEG sponsors listed in the credit union’s charter, provided there is a ‘‘strong dependency relationship’’ between the contractor and sponsor. To extend to multiple common bond credit unions the ability that single common bond credit unions already have to add persons who work regularly for an entity under contract to its sponsor advances the Board’s goal to enable parallel functioning between single and multiple common bond credit unions whenever feasible and consistent with the Act. Some commenters requested the Board to define what constitutes a ‘‘strong dependency relationship’’ between a SEG sponsor and its contractor, but cautioned against requiring either SEG sponsors or their contractors to disclose trade secrets or confidential financial information. Some suggested permitting an FCU to pledge in good faith that it can 69 12 E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM U.S.C. 1759(f)(1)(B). 07DER4 asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations document a ‘‘strong dependency relationship’’ between each SEG’s sponsor and the sponsor’s contractor in accordance with the particulars of the industry in which they operate. Reflecting the Board’s preference for a more objective standard, the final rule defines a ‘‘strong dependency relationship’’ between a SEG sponsor and the sponsor’s contractor to mean that both rely on each other as measured by a pattern of regularly doing business with each other, for example, as documented by the number, the term length and the dollar volume of prior and pending contracts between them. The Board intends the ‘‘strong dependency’’ standard to be determined by credit unions themselves, so as to create a rebuttable presumption that the sponsor’s employees and those of the contractor share a single common bond, as the Act requires. NCUA’s Office of Consumer Protection, or its successor, anticipates issuing further guidance to clarify what documentation will be acceptable to confirm a contractual relationship based on a pattern of regularly doing business. 3. Multiple Common Bond of Office/ Industrial Park Employees. The existing rule expressly permits a community charter to consist of persons who are employed within an office or industrial park.70 As an alternative to such a community charter, the proposed rule expressly permitted a multiple common bond credit union to combine in a single SEG all the employees of a park’s business and retail tenants (e.g., within a shopping mall, an office building or an office complex), provided each tenant has fewer than 3000 employees working regularly at a facility within the park— effectively a SEG consisting of park tenants themselves rather than their employees. About a dozen credit union commenters specifically addressed the tenants’ SEG proposal, generally favoring it as an enhancement of an FCU’s ability to serve multiple businesses within an office/industrial park by leveraging its resources to provide more value to its membership. Specifically, the proposal enabled an FCU to use a park’s tenant base to more efficiently identify and offer services to employees of businesses within the park. Critics of the proposal included some credit unions and several banks that believed the proposal would create an impermissible ‘‘hybrid’’ charter that combined community and occupational common bond characteristics. Specifically, these commenters believed 70 Appendix VerDate Sep<11>2014 B, ch. 2 § V.A.7. 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 such a charter would make a SEG out of a group (i.e., employees of a park’s retail and business tenants) that is more properly characterized simply as persons who work in a geographically based community. These commenters emphasized that the Act prescribes distinct criteria for groups sharing an occupational versus an associational common bond.71 The opponents also questioned the justification for this proposal beyond administrative convenience. Having considered the comments addressing the tenants’ SEG proposal, the Board believes it is appropriate to give the employees of a park’s tenants the option to join a multiple common bond credit union. However, a SEG sponsored by a landlord and consisting of its tenants (as opposed to the landlord’s own employees) unequivocally lacks the essential occupational common bond due to the lack of an employment relationship between the landlord and each tenant. Notwithstanding this structural flaw, the existing rule’s language and its application in practice have convinced the Board that the rule already permits a park’s tenants, in each one’s capacity as an employer, to form a multiple occupational common bond credit union combining each one’s individual SEG.72 Accordingly, in lieu of the tenant SEG proposal, the final rule clarifies the current availability of the multiple common bond option for employers within an industrial park, shopping mall, office park, or office building (each a ‘‘park’’) by expressly specifying it as an example within the rule; no rule change is required.73 Consistent with the Act’s stand-alone feasibility exemption for groups with fewer than 3000 members,74 each park tenant’s SEG must have fewer than 3000 employees who work at a facility within the park, 71 As set forth in the Chartering Manual, the criteria of an occupational common bond are: (1) Employment in a single corporation, (2) employment in a corporation with a controlling interest in or by another legal entity, (3) employment in a corporation which is related to another legal entity (such as a company under contract and possessing a strong dependency relationship with another company); (4) employment or attendance in a school, or (5) employment in the same Trade, Industry or Profession. Appendix B, ch. 2, § II.A.1. 72 Appendix B, ch. 1 § XI. 73 To facilitate the formation of multiple SEGs among a park’s retail and business tenants, a multiple common bond credit union could rely on a letter from an authorized representative of the park, such as its leasing agent, to identify each incoming tenant capable of forming its own SEG, and to give notice of the departure of an existing SEG’s sponsor from the park, thus discontinuing its SEG. 74 12 U.S.C. 1759(d)(2)(A). PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 88421 each of whom would be eligible for FCU membership only for so long as he/she regularly works there.75 This existing multiple common bond option creates neither a new charter type nor an impermissible hybrid community/ multiple group charter; rather, it gives FCUs a choice between either distinct charter type to serve an office/industrial park. 4. Streamlined Documentation to Assess Stand-Alone Feasibility of Groups of 3000 or Greater. The proposed rule streamlined NCUA’s process for assessing the stand-alone feasibility of a group of 3000 or more members (‘‘≥3000 group’’) that seeks to be added to the FOM of an existing multiple common bond credit union, instead of forming a single common bond credit union. A group of fewer than 3000 members (‘‘<3000 group’’) is subject to the existing process under the Application for Field of Membership (NCUA form 4015 EZ). A group between 3000 and 5000 is required to document its inability to form a credit union of its own based on evidence of a lack of available subsidies, disinterest among the group’s members, and an overall lack of sufficient resources (NCUA form 4015–A). Groups with more than 5000 members are subject to the existing standard application process, requiring a group to fully describe its inability to establish a new single common bond credit union (NCUA form 4015). The proposed rule invited comments on whether to increase the 5000 member threshold that triggers the standard application process. Scores of comments, both in support and in opposition, addressed the proposal to streamline the documentation requirement to assess the stand-alone feasibility of ≥3000 groups. Credit union commenters generally favored the proposal, but requested modifications, particularly to increase the membership threshold and the method of quantifying group size. Most commenters recommended increasing the threshold to 5000, while others recommended increasing it to as many as 20,000 members. One commenter recommended eliminating a numerical threshold completely. Further, many credit union commenters recommended evaluating the standalone feasibility criteria using the number of actual rather than potential members. Acknowledging the Board’s initial rationale for the streamlined approach—that 80 percent of failures occur among FCUs with fewer than 75 Appendix E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM B, ch. 2, § IV.A.1. 07DER4 asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES 88422 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations 5000 actual members 76—certain supporters urged NCUA to consider the safety and soundness consequences and the risk to the Insurance Fund of insisting that groups between 3000 and 5000 members form their own credit unions. They suggested that NCUA’s goal should be to charter FCUs that are most likely to survive. Several bank commenters criticized the proposal, claiming that it violates the Act and is inconsistent with the legislative history. These commenters stated that, with limited exceptions, the Act expressly limits to 3000 members the size of a group that can be added to an existing multiple common bond credit union. The commenters were concerned that the proposal’s practical effect would be to unilaterally increase the numerical limitation prescribed by law. In contrast, credit union commenters insisted that the proposal is within the Act’s statutory authority because it does not obviate the requirement that a >3000 group demonstrate its inability to establish a new single common bond FCU. In their view, it allows NCUA to accept a group’s statement of inability to form a stand-alone credit union in lieu of full supporting documentation. To the extent such documentation is absent, they noted that NCUA retains the ability to reject or to further investigate a group’s statement of inability to form a stand-alone credit union. Having considered the comments addressing the streamlined documentation proposal for assessing the stand-alone feasibility of >3000 groups, it is clear that commenters opposing the proposal relied on a fundamental misconception—that the proposal would alter the 3000 member stand-alone feasibility threshold mandated by the Act. On the contrary, the final rule merely reduces the documentation required, depending on group size, to support a stand-alone feasibility determination, while continuing to honor both the 3000 member feasibility threshold and the feasibility criteria that the Act prescribes. Further, streamlining the required documentation is a response to complaints to the agency from multiple common bond credit unions that the excessive paperwork demand on groups they seek to add has been a disincentive to those groups, causing them to withdraw in frustration. Certain credit unions urged the Board to increase the threshold above 5000, if based on potential members or, if left at 5000, to base it on actual members. These commenters did not provide a compelling justification for adjusting this amount at this time. On the contrary, the Board has determined that the proposed 5000 member threshold is appropriate at this time, believing that it represents the minimum number of potential members needed for a credit union to maintain long-term economic viability. The process of applying the statutory stand-alone feasibility criteria is identical under both the streamlined documentation and the standard approaches. In either case, the Board would review a >3000 group’s application and determine whether to accept or reject it, or to request additional supporting information. Accordingly, the streamlined documentation proposal is consistent with the Act’s stand-alone feasibility mandate. 5. Commenter-initiated Emergency Merger Proposal. To facilitate mergers between credit unions with unlike common bonds, several commenters recommended a variety of approaches for relaxing, if not effectively disregarding, the statutory standard authorizing an emergency merger free of the FOM constraints the Act otherwise imposes. ‘‘Notwithstanding any other provision of law,’’ including the FOM limitations it may impose, the Act permits the Board to authorize the merger of an insured credit union (or a purchase and assumption of its assets) provided the credit union is ‘‘insolvent or is in danger of insolvency.’’ 77 Given that this explicit, objectively measurable ‘‘insolvency’’ standard is expressly imposed by the Act, the Board is bound by it no matter what other circumstances it would consider to warrant a merger of unlike common bonds. Within that standard, the Board retains discretion to define ‘‘danger of insolvency,’’ e.g., in terms of imminence, as the existing rule does according to time increments (between 12 and 36 months) pending a credit union’s declining net worth classification.78 The Board will, in a separate rulemaking, consider alternative approaches to define the ‘‘danger of insolvency’’ prerequisite for an emergency merger of unlike common bonds. E. Other Persons Eligible for Credit Union Membership NCUA has historically recognized a variety of persons who, by virtue of their relationship to a common bond 77 12 U.S.C. 1785(h). B, Ch. 2, section II.D.2. (glossary definition of ‘‘danger of insolvency’’). 78 Appendix 76 80 FR at 76754. VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00012 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 group, have been entitled to credit union membership eligibility.79 To recognize the contributions of those who have served in the United States Armed Forces, and to give them the benefit of access to credit union service following active duty, the proposed rule permitted a credit union to include as an affinity group within its common bond the honorably discharged veterans of any branch of the United States Armed Forces listed in its charter. Credit union commenters uniformly favored this proposal for recognizing not only the affinity that veterans share with their own active duty branch of service, but the affinity among active duty and retired military personnel generally. Some commenters supported the proposal as a means to protect military veterans from unscrupulous lenders. Another opposed it as too expansive, contending that it would justify membership eligibility for retirees of other organizations within an FOM. Conversely, yet another commenter advocated expanding the proposal to grant membership eligibility based upon the affinity of, for example, retired federal employees and retired teachers. The single bank commenter who addressed this proposal was concerned that it would enable individuals to use ‘‘creative measures’’ to join an FCU by group affinity generally. Having considered the comments addressing the proposal to extend membership eligibility to honorably discharged military members, the Board believes that it is appropriate due to the unique bond that discharged veterans typically retain with their former branch of service (e.g., via military-sponsored morale, welfare and recreational associations). The Board emphasizes that such an affinity applies exclusively to honorably discharged veterans; in contrast, membership eligibility would be available to retirees of other groups, such as teachers or federal employees within an FOM, only to the extent an individual credit union permits it in its charter. Accordingly, exclusively for ‘‘Honorably discharged veterans who served in any of the Armed Services of the United States listed in [a credit union’s] charter,’’ the final rule automatically grants membership eligibility.80 79 Appendix B, Ch.2, sections II.H., IV.H., and Appendix 1 (glossary definition of ‘‘affinity’’). 80 Appendix B, Ch. 2, § II.H. E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations F. Inclusion of ‘‘Strong Dependency’’ Vendors and Suppliers in a Single Common Bond Within a Trade, Industry or Profession A single occupational common bond within a trade, industry or profession (a ‘‘TIP’’) is based on employment by any number of separately owned corporations or other legal entities that share a common bond by reason of producing similar products, providing similar services, sharing the same profession or trade, or participating in the same industry.81 A TIP-based common bond requires a narrow commonality of interests among the TIP entities’ employees and a close nexus among the entities themselves.82 The proposed rule clarified that the existing definition of a TIP-based single common bond of occupation includes employees of entities that have a strong dependency relationship on, and whose employees work directly with employees of, other entities within the same industry, to the extent that a significant, if not equal, economic impact is likely if one were unable to continue in its operations without doing business with the other. Several credit unions favored the proposal to include ‘‘strong dependency’’ vendors and suppliers in a TIP, stating that it would provide regulatory relief in allowing TIP credit unions to reach potential members more easily. One commenter welcomed the Board’s recognition that current employment practices frequently involve outsourcing of work to independent vendors and suppliers under contract. No commenter opposed the proposal. Some commenters expressed a mistaken belief that the existing rule restricts a TIP charter from serving the entire nation. On the contrary, the existing rule imposes no geographic limitation on service to the groups within a TIP. In fact, NCUA has approved several TIPs whose groups span the whole nation. Having considered the comments addressing the proposal to include ‘‘strong dependency’’ vendors and suppliers in a TIP, the Board has decided to adopt it in the final rule.83 Further, at the request of commenters, the final rule defines a ‘‘strong dependency’’ relationship between TIP entities and their vendors and suppliers as a relationship in which they rely on each other to the extent, for example, that the absence of one likely would 81 68 FR 18334, 18336 (April 15, 2003); Appendix B, ch. 2, § IIA.2. 82 Id. 83 Appendix B, Ch. 2, section II.A.2. VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 cause the other to suffer a material decline in either revenue, functionality or productivity, among other consequences.84 G. Technical Updates Since publishing the December 2015 proposed rule, the Board has renamed the agency’s Office of Consumer Protection as the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access (‘‘OCFPA’’). Accordingly, the final rule updates the agency’s Chartering Manual to substitute OCFPA in place of certain references to regional office and regional director chartering responsibilities, and to substitute the Board Secretary for the former Office of Consumer Protection in reference to appeals of chartering decisions.85 The final rule also corrects statutory and regulatory citations and cross-references in the Chartering Manual and its appendices, and updates those appendices to reflect current information and practices. III. Regulatory Procedures Regulatory Flexibility Act The Regulatory Flexibility Act requires NCUA to prepare an analysis to describe any significant economic impact a regulation may have on a substantial number of small entities.86 For purposes of this analysis, NCUA considers small credit unions to be those having under $100 million in assets.87 This rule is anticipated to economically benefit FCUs that choose to expand their FOMs, but not to the extent that it will affect a substantial number of small entities. In any case, NCUA certifies that the rule will not have a significant economic impact on small credit unions. Paperwork Reduction Act The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (‘‘PRA’’) 88 applies to collections of information through which an agency creates a paperwork burden on regulated entities or the public, or revises existing burden.89 For purposes of the PRA, a paperwork burden may take the form of either a reporting, recordkeeping, or third-party disclosure requirement, also referred to as information collections. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person is required to respond to, nor shall any person be subject to a penalty for failure to comply with, a 84 Id. 85 Appendix B, Ch. 2, sections II.C., II.C.6., III.C., III.C.6., IV.B., IV.B.5., V.C. and VII.D. 86 5 U.S.C. 603(a). 87 See 80 FR 57512 (Sept. 24, 2015). 88 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq. 89 Id. § 3507(d); 5 CFR part 1320. PO 00000 Frm 00013 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 88423 collection of information subject to the requirements of the PRA, unless that collection of information displays a currently valid OMB control number. This rule involves a collection of information approved under OMB control number 3133–0015—Chartering and Field of Membership Manual. The final rule creates new strategic options for FCUs, while requiring of them essentially the same information that the existing rule required to apply for and be granted a charter expansion or conversion, with two exceptions. It introduces a new form (NCUA 4015–A) within Appendix 4 to the Chartering and Field of Membership Manual that condenses the application process that otherwise would apply to the addition of certain groups to a multiple common bond FOM. Using this condensed version will streamline the application process and will no longer require completion of the Form 4015. By adding this option, no new burden is realized with the addition of NCUA 4015–A. Regarding a community common bond, the final rule permits a community FCU to add an area adjacent to the perimeter of an existing community consisting of a Single Political Jurisdiction, Core Based Statistical Area or Combined Statistical Area, based upon a narrative showing that residents on both sides of the perimeter interact or share common interests. For that purpose, the rule identifies compelling indicia of interaction or common interests that would be relevant in developing and supporting a narrative to establish that the residents of the expanded community meet the requirements of a well-defined local community. NCUA has determined that the procedure for an FCU to assemble such evidence of interaction or common interests, and to develop and submit a narrative summarizing the evidence to support its application to expand, would create a new information collection requirement. In the proposed rule, NCUA identified and described this new information collection requirement, estimating the time it would take to comply, and solicited commenters on the information collection aspects of the proposed rule. The sole commenter who addressed the information collection aspects of the proposed rule concluded without explanation that it would double the existing paperwork burden. The burden outlined in the December proposed rule revealed an increase of 26,160 hours due to the new and revised information collection requirements. With this estimated increase, the total burden E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 88424 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations requested under OMB No. 3133–0015 is 44,223 hours. Executive Order 13132 Executive Order 13132 encourages independent regulatory agencies to consider the impact of their actions on state and local interests. To adhere to fundamental federalism principles, NCUA, an independent regulatory agency as defined in 44 U.S.C. 3502(5), voluntarily complies with the Executive Order. Primarily because this rule applies to FCUs exclusively, it will not have a substantial direct effect on the states, on the connection between the national government and the states, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. NCUA has determined this rule does not constitute a policy that has federalism implications for purposes of the Executive Order 13132. Assessment of Federal Regulations and Policies on Families NCUA has determined that this final rule will not affect family well-being within the meaning of Section 654 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 1999.90 Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act The Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104–121) (‘‘SBREFA’’) provides generally for congressional review of agency rules. A reporting requirement is triggered in instances where NCUA issues a final rule as defined by Section 551 of the Administrative Procedure Act.91 NCUA does not believe this final rule is a ‘‘major rule’’ within the meaning of the relevant sections of SBREFA, but as required, has submitted this final rule to OMB for its determination. List of Subjects in 12 CFR Part 701 Credit, Credit unions, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements. By the National Credit Union Administration Board on October 27, 2016. Gerard S. Poliquin, Secretary of the Board. asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES For the reasons stated above, NCUA amends 12 CFR part 701 as follows: PART 701—ORGANIZATION AND OPERATION OF FEDERAL CREDIT UNIONS 1. The authority for part 701 continues to read as follows: ■ 2. Appendix B to part 701 is revised to read as follows: ■ Appendix B to Part 701—Chartering and Field of Membership Manual Chapter 1 — Federal Credit Union Chartering I—Goals of NCUA Chartering Policy The National Credit Union Administration’s (NCUA) chartering and field of membership policies are directed toward achieving the following goals: • To encourage the formation of credit unions; • To uphold the provisions of the Federal Credit Union Act; 92 • To promote thrift and credit extension; • To promote credit union safety and soundness; and • To make quality credit union service available to all eligible persons. NCUA may grant a charter to single occupational/associational groups, multiple groups, or communities if: • The occupational, associational, or multiple groups possess an appropriate common bond or the community represents a well-defined local community, neighborhood, or rural district; • The subscribers are of good character and are fit to represent the proposed credit union; and • The establishment of the credit union is economically advisable. Generally, these are the primary criteria that NCUA will consider. In unusual circumstances, however, NCUA may examine other factors, such as other federal law or public policy, in deciding if a charter should be approved. Unless otherwise noted, the policies outlined in this manual apply only to federal credit unions. II—Types of Charters The Federal Credit Union Act recognizes three types of federal credit union charters— single common bond (occupational and associational), multiple common bond (more than one group each having a common bond of occupation or association), and community. The requirements that must be met to charter a federal credit union are described in Chapter 2. Special rules for credit unions serving low-income groups are described in Chapter 3. If a federal credit union charter is granted, Section 5 of the charter will describe the credit union’s field of membership, which defines those persons and entities eligible for membership. Generally, federal credit unions are only able to grant loans and provide services to persons within the field of 90 Public 91 5 Law 105–277, 112 Stat. 2681 (1998). U.S.C. 551. Authority: 12 U.S.C. 1752(5), 1755, 1756, 1757, 1758, 1759, 1761a, 1761b, 1766, 1767, 1782, 1784, 1786, 1787, 1789. Section 701.6 is also authorized by 15 U.S.C. 3717. Section 701.31 is also authorized by 15 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.; 42 U.S.C. 1981 and 3601–3610. Section 701.35 is also authorized by 42 U.S.C. 4311–4312. VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 92 12 PO 00000 U.S.C. 1751 et seq. Frm 00014 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 membership who have become members of the credit union. III—Subscribers Federal credit unions are generally organized by persons who volunteer their time and resources and are responsible for determining the interest, commitment, and economic advisability of forming a federal credit union. The organization of a successful federal credit union takes considerable planning and dedication. Persons interested in organizing a federal credit union should contact one of the credit union trade associations or the NCUA regional office serving the state in which the credit union will be organized. Lists of NCUA offices and credit union trade associations are shown in the appendices. NCUA will provide information to groups interested in pursuing a federal charter and will assist them in contacting an organizer. While anyone may organize a credit union, a person with training and experience in chartering new federal credit unions is generally the most effective organizer. However, extensive involvement by the group desiring credit union service is essential. The functions of the organizer are to provide direction, guidance, and advice on the chartering process. The organizer also provides the group with information about a credit union’s functions and purpose as well as technical assistance in preparing and submitting the charter application. Close communication and cooperation between the organizer and the proposed members are critical to the chartering process. The Federal Credit Union Act requires that seven or more natural persons—the ‘‘subscribers’’—present to NCUA for approval a sworn organization certificate stating at a minimum: • The name of the proposed federal credit union; • The location of the proposed federal credit union and the territory in which it will operate; • The names and addresses of the subscribers to the certificate and the number of shares subscribed by each; • The initial par value of the shares; • The detailed proposed field of membership; and • • The fact that the certificate is made to enable such persons to avail themselves of the advantages of the Federal Credit Union Act. Willfully and knowingly making false statements on any of the required documentation filed in obtaining a federal credit union charter may be grounds for federal criminal prosecution under 18 U.S.C. 1001. IV—Economic Advisability IV.A—General Before chartering a federal credit union, NCUA must be satisfied that the institution will be viable and that it will provide needed services to its members. Economic advisability, which is a key factor in determining whether a potential charter will have a reasonable opportunity to succeed, is E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations essential in order to qualify for a credit union charter. NCUA will conduct an independent on-site investigation of each charter application to ensure that the proposed credit union can be successful. In general, the success of any credit union depends on: (a) The character and fitness of management; (b) the depth of the members’ support; and (c) present and projected market conditions. asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES IV.B—Proposed Management’s Character and Fitness The Federal Credit Union Act requires NCUA to ensure that the subscribers are of good ‘‘general character and fitness.’’ Prospective officials and employees will be the subject of credit and background investigations. The investigation report must demonstrate each applicant’s ability to effectively handle financial matters. Employees and officials should also be competent, experienced, honest and of good character. Factors that may lead to disapproval of a prospective official or employee include criminal convictions, indictments, and acts of fraud and dishonesty. Further, factors such as serious or unresolved past due credit obligations and bankruptcies disclosed during credit checks may disqualify an individual. NCUA also needs reasonable assurance that the management team will have the requisite skills—particularly in leadership and accounting—and the commitment to dedicate the time and effort needed to make the proposed federal credit union a success. Section 701.14 of NCUA’s Rules and Regulations sets forth the procedures for NCUA approval of officials of newly chartered credit unions. If the application of a prospective official or employee to serve is not acceptable to the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director, the group can propose an alternate to act in that individual’s place. If the charter applicant feels it is essential that the disqualified individual be retained, the individual may appeal the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director’s decision to the NCUA Board. If an appeal is pursued, action on the application may be delayed. If the appeal is denied by the NCUA Board, an acceptable new applicant must be provided before the charter can be approved. IV.C—Member Support Economic advisability is a major factor in determining whether the credit union will be chartered. An important consideration is the degree of support from the field of membership. The charter applicant must be able to demonstrate that membership support is sufficient to ensure viability. NCUA has not set a minimum field of membership size for chartering a federal credit union. Consequently, groups of any size may apply for a credit union charter and be approved if they demonstrate economic advisability. However, it is important to note that often the size of the group is indicative of the potential for success. For that reason, a charter application with fewer than 3,000 primary potential members (e.g., employees of a corporation or members of an association) may not be economically VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 advisable. Therefore, a charter applicant with a proposed field of membership of fewer than 3,000 primary potential members may have to provide more support than an applicant with a larger field of membership. For example, a small occupational or associational group may be required to demonstrate a commitment for long-term support from the sponsor. IV.D—Present and Future Market Conditions—Business Plan The ability to provide effective service to members, to compete in the marketplace, and to adapt to changing market conditions are key to the survival of any enterprise. Before NCUA will charter a credit union, a business plan based on realistic and supportable projections and assumptions must be submitted. The business plan should contain, at a minimum, the following elements: • Mission statement; • Analysis of market conditions, including if applicable, geographic, demographic, employment, income, housing, and other economic data; • Evidence of member support; • Goals for shares, loans, and for number of members; • Financial services needed/desired; • Financial services to be provided to members of all segments within the field of membership; • How/when services are to be implemented; • Organizational/management plan addressing qualification and planned training of officials/employees; • Continuity plan for directors, committee members and management staff; • • Operating facilities, to include office space/equipment and supplies, safeguarding of assets, insurance coverage, etc.; • Type of record-keeping and data processing system; • Detailed semiannual pro forma financial statements (balance sheet, income and expense projections) for 1st and 2nd year, including assumptions—e.g., loan and dividend rates; • Plans for operating independently; • Written policies (shares, lending, investments, funds management, capital accumulation, dividends, collections, etc.); • Source of funds to pay expenses during initial months of operation, including any subsidies, assistance, etc., and terms or conditions of such resources; and • Evidence of sponsor commitment (or other source of support) if subsidies are critical to success of the federal credit union. Evidence may be in the form of letters, contracts, financial statements from the sponsor, and any other such document on which the proposed federal credit union can substantiate its projections. While the business plan may be prepared with outside assistance, the subscribers and proposed officials must understand and support the submitted business plan. PO 00000 Frm 00015 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 88425 V—Steps in Organizing a Federal Credit Union V.A—Getting Started Following the guidance contained throughout this policy, the organizers should submit wording for the proposed field of membership (the persons, organizations and other legal entities the credit union will serve) to NCUA early in the application process for written preliminary approval. The proposed field of membership must meet all common bond or community requirements. Once the field of membership has been given preliminary approval, the organizer should conduct an organizational meeting to elect seven to ten persons to serve as subscribers. The subscribers should locate willing individuals capable of serving on the board of directors, credit committee, supervisory committee, and as chief operating officer/manager of the proposed credit union. Subsequent organizational meetings may be held to discuss the progress of the charter investigation, to announce the proposed slate of officials, and to respond to any questions posed at these meetings. If NCUA approves the charter application, the subscribers, as their final duty, will elect the board of directors of the proposed federal credit union. The new board of directors will then appoint the supervisory committee. V. B—Charter Application Documentation V.B.1—General As discussed previously in this Chapter, the organizer of a federal credit union charter must, at a minimum, provide evidence that: • The group(s) possess an appropriate common bond or the geographical area to be served is a well-defined local community, neighborhood, or rural district; • The subscribers, prospective officials, and employees are of good character and fitness; and • The establishment of the credit union is economically advisable. As part of the application process, the organizer must submit the following forms, which are available in appendix 4 of this Manual: • Federal Credit Union Investigation Report, NCUA 4001; • Organization Certificate, NCUA 4008; • • Report of Official and Agreement To Serve, NCUA 4012; • Application and Agreements for Insurance of Accounts, NCUA 9500; and • Certification of Resolutions, NCUA 9501. Each of these forms is described in more detail in the following sections. V.B.2—Federal Credit Union Investigation Report, NCUA 4001 The application for a new federal credit union will be submitted on NCUA 4001. State-chartered credit unions applying for conversion to a federal charter will use NCUA 4000. (See Chapter 4 for a full discussion.) The organizer is required to certify the information and recommend approval or disapproval, based on the investigation of the request. E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 88426 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations V.B.3—Organization Certificate, NCUA 4008 VII—NCUA Review This document, which must be completed by the subscribers, includes the seven criteria established by the Federal Credit Union Act. NCUA staff assigned to the case will assist in the proper completion of this document. VII.A—General Once NCUA receives a complete charter application package, an acknowledgment of receipt will be sent to the organizer. During the review process, a staff member will be assigned to perform an on-site contact with the proposed officials and others having an interest in the proposed federal credit union. NCUA staff will review the application package and verify its accuracy and reasonableness. A staff member will inquire into the financial management experience and the suitability and commitment of the proposed officials and employees, and will make an assessment of economic advisability. The staff member will also provide guidance to the subscribers in the proper completion of the Organization Certificate, NCUA 4008. Credit and background investigations may be conducted concurrently by NCUA with other work being performed by the organizer and subscribers to reduce the likelihood of delays in the chartering process. The staff member will analyze the prospective credit union’s business plan for realistic projections, attainable goals, adequate service to all segments of the field of membership, sufficient start-up capital, and time commitment by the proposed officials and employees. Any concerns will be reviewed with the organizer and discussed with the prospective credit union’s officials. Additional on-site contacts by NCUA staff may be necessary. The organizer and subscribers will be expected to take the steps necessary to resolve any issues or concerns. Such resolution efforts may delay processing the application. NCUA staff will then make a recommendation to the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director regarding the charter application. The recommendation may include specific provisions to be included in a Letter of Understanding and Agreement. In most cases, NCUA will require the prospective officials to adhere to certain operational guidelines. Generally, the agreement is for a limited term of two to four years. A sample Letter of Understanding and Agreement is found in appendix 2. V.B.4—Report of Official and Agreement To Serve, NCUA 4012 This form documents general background information of each official and employee of the proposed federal credit union. Each official and employee must complete and sign this form. The organizer must review each of the NCUA 4012s for elements that would prevent the prospective official or employee from serving. Further, such factors as serious, unresolved past due credit obligations and bankruptcies disclosed during credit checks may disqualify an individual. V.B.5—Application and Agreements for Insurance of Accounts, NCUA 9500 This document contains the agreements with which federal credit unions must comply in order to obtain National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF) coverage of member accounts. The document must be completed and signed by both the chief executive officer and chief financial officer. A federal credit union must qualify for federal share insurance. V.B. 5—Certification of Resolutions, NCUA 9501 This document certifies that the board of directors of the proposed federal credit union has resolved to apply for NCUSIF insurance of member accounts and has authorized the chief executive officer and recording officer to execute the Application and Agreements for Insurance of Accounts. Both the chief executive officer and recording officer of the proposed federal credit union must sign this form. asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES VI—Name Selection It is the responsibility of the federal credit union organizers or officials of an existing credit union to ensure that the proposed federal credit union name or federal credit union name change does not constitute an infringement on the name of any corporation in its trade area. This responsibility also includes researching any service marks or trademarks used by any other corporation (including credit unions) in its trade area. NCUA will ensure, to the extent possible, that the credit union’s name: • Is not already being officially used by another federal credit union; • Will not be confused with NCUA or another federal or state agency, or with another credit union; and • Does not include misleading or inappropriate language. The last three words in the name of every credit union chartered by NCUA must be ‘‘Federal Credit Union.’’ The word ‘‘community,’’ while not required, can only be included in the name of federal credit unions that have been granted a community charter. VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 VII.B—Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director Approval Once approved, the board of directors of the newly formed federal credit union will receive a signed charter and standard bylaws from the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director. Additionally, the officials will be advised of the name of the examiner assigned responsibility for supervising and examining the credit union. VII.C—Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director Disapproval When the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director disapproves any charter application, in whole or in part, the organizer will be informed in writing of the specific reasons for the disapproval. Where applicable, the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director will provide information concerning options or suggestions that the applicant could consider PO 00000 Frm 00016 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 for gaining approval or otherwise acquiring credit union service. The letter of denial will include the procedures for appealing the decision. VII.D—Appeal of Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director Decision If the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director denies a charter application, in whole or in part, that decision may be appealed to the NCUA Board. An appeal must be sent to the NCUA Board Secretary within 60 days of the date of denial and must address the specific reasons for denial. The appeal must be clearly identified as such and address the specific reason(s) the prospective group disagrees with the denial. A copy of the appeal must be sent to the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director. NCUA central office staff will make an independent review of the facts and present the appeal with a recommendation to the NCUA Board. Before appealing, the prospective group may, within 30 days of the denial, provide supplemental information to the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director for reconsideration. A reconsideration will contain new and material evidence addressing the reasons for the initial denial. The Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director will have 30 days from the date of the receipt of the request for reconsideration to make a final decision. If the request is again denied, the applicant may proceed with the appeal process within 60 days of the date of the last denial. A second request for reconsideration will be treated as an appeal to the NCUA Board. VII.E—Commencement of Operations Assistance in commencing operations is generally available through the various credit union trade organizations listed in appendix 5. All new federal credit unions are also encouraged to establish a mentor relationship with a knowledgeable, experienced credit union individual or an existing, welloperated credit union. The mentor should provide guidance and assistance to the new credit union through attendance at meetings and general oversight. Upon request, NCUA will provide assistance in finding a qualified mentor. VIII—Future Supervision Each federal credit union will be examined regularly by NCUA to determine that it remains in compliance with applicable laws and regulations and to determine that it does not pose undue risk to the NCUSIF. The examiner will contact the credit union officials shortly after approval of the charter in order to arrange for the initial examination (usually within the first six months of operation). The examiner will be responsible for monitoring the progress of the credit union and providing the necessary advice and guidance to ensure it is in compliance with applicable laws and regulations. The examiner will also monitor compliance with the terms of any required Letter of E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations Understanding and Agreement. Typically, the examiner will require the credit union to submit copies of monthly board minutes and financial statements. The Federal Credit Union Act requires all newly chartered credit unions, up to two years after the charter anniversary date, to obtain NCUA approval prior to appointment of any new board member, credit or supervisory committee member, or senior executive officer. Section 701.14 of the NCUA Rules and Regulations sets forth the notice and application requirements. If NCUA issues a Notice of Disapproval, the newly chartered credit union is prohibited from making the change. NCUA may disapprove an individual serving as a director, committee member or senior executive officer if it finds that the competence, experience, character, or integrity of the individual indicates it would not be in the best interests of the members of the credit union or of the public to permit the individual to be employed by or associated with the credit union. If a Notice of Disapproval is issued, the credit union may appeal the decision to the NCUA Board. IX—Corporate Federal Credit Unions A corporate federal credit union is one that is operated primarily for the purpose of serving other credit unions. Corporate federal credit unions are not governed by this manual, but instead operate under and are administered by the NCUA Office of National Examinations and Supervision. X—Groups Seeking Credit Union Service NCUA will attempt to assist any group in chartering a credit union or joining an existing credit union. If the group is not eligible for federal credit union service, NCUA will refer the group to the appropriate state supervisory authority where different requirements may apply. asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES XI—Field of Membership Designations NCUA will designate a credit union based on the following criteria: Single Occupational: If a credit union serves a single occupational sponsor, such as ABC Corporation, it will be designated as an occupational credit union. A single occupational common bond credit union may also serve a trade, industry, or profession (TIP), such as all teachers. Single Associational: If a credit union serves a single associational sponsor, such as the Knights of Columbus, it will be designated as an associational credit union. Multiple Common Bond: If a credit union serves more than one group, each of which has a common bond of occupation and/or association, it will be designated as a multiple common bond credit union. Community: All community credit unions will be designated as such, followed by a description of their geographic boundaries, including but not limited to city or county boundaries, roadways, rivers, transportation lines. Credit unions desiring to confirm or submit an application to change their designations should contact the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access. VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 XII—Foreign Branching A federal credit union is permitted to serve foreign nationals within its field of membership wherever such individuals reside if management has the ability and resources to serve them. Before a credit union opens a branch outside the United States, it must submit an application to do so and have prior written approval of the regional director or Office of National Examinations and Supervision Director. A federal credit union may establish a service facility on a United States military installation or United States embassy without prior NCUA approval. Chapter 2 — Field of Membership Requirements for Federal Credit Unions I—Introduction I.A.1—General As set forth in Chapter 1, the Federal Credit Union Act provides for three types of federal credit union charters—single common bond (occupational or associational), multiple common bond (multiple groups), and community. Section 109 (12 U.S.C. 1759) of the Federal Credit Union Act addresses the membership requirements for each type of charter. The field of membership, which is specified in Section 5 of the charter, defines those persons and entities eligible for membership. A single common bond federal credit union consists of one group having a common bond of occupation or association. A multiple common bond federal credit union consists of more than one group, each of which has a common bond of occupation or association. A community federal credit union consists of persons or organizations within a well-defined local community, neighborhood, or rural district. Once chartered, a federal credit union can amend its field of membership; however, the same common bond or community requirements for chartering the credit union must be satisfied. Since there are differences in the three types of charters, special rules apply to each, which are fully discussed in the following sections of this Chapter. I.A. 2—Special Low-Income Rules Generally, federal credit unions can only grant loans and provide services to persons who have joined the credit union. The Federal Credit Union Act states that one of the purposes of federal credit unions is ‘‘to serve the productive and provident credit needs of individuals of modest means.’’ Although field of membership requirements are applicable, special rules set forth in Chapter 3 may apply to low-income designated credit unions and those credit unions assisting low-income groups or to a federal credit union that adds an underserved community to its field of membership. II—Occupational Common Bond II.A.1—General A single occupational common bond federal credit union may include in its field of membership all persons and entities who share that common bond. NCUA permits a person’s membership eligibility in a single occupational common bond group to be established in five ways: PO 00000 Frm 00017 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 88427 • Employment (or a contractual relationship equivalent to employment) in a single corporation or other legal entity makes that person part of a single occupational common bond; • Employment in a corporation or other legal entity with a controlling ownership interest (which shall not be less than 10 percent) in or by another legal entity makes that person part of a single occupational common bond; • Employment in a corporation or other legal entity which is related to another legal entity (such as a company under contract and possessing a strong dependency relationship with another company) makes that person part of a single occupational common bond; • Employment or attendance at a school makes that person part of a single occupational common bond (see Chapter 2, Section III.A.1); or • Employment in the same Trade, Industry, or Profession (TIP) (see Chapter 2, Section II.A.2). A geographic limitation is not a requirement for a single occupational common bond. However, for purposes of describing the field of membership, the geographic areas being served may be included in the charter. For example: • Employees, officials, and persons who work regularly under contract in Miami, Florida for ABC Corporation and subsidiaries; • Employees of ABC Corporation who are paid from * * *; • Employees of ABC Corporation who are supervised from * * *; • Employees of ABC Corporation who are headquartered in * * *; and/or • Employees of ABC Corporation who work in the United States. The corporation or other legal entity (i.e., the employer) may also be included in the common bond—e.g., ‘‘ABC Corporation.’’ The corporation or legal entity will be defined in the last clause in Section 5 of the credit union’s charter. A charter applicant must provide documentation to establish that the single occupational common bond requirement has been met. Some examples of valid single occupational common bonds are: • Employees of the Hunt Manufacturing Company who work in West Chester, Pennsylvania. (common bond—same employer with geographic definition); • Employees of the Buffalo Manufacturing Company who work in the United States. (common bond—same employer with geographic definition); • Employees, elected and appointed officials of municipal government in Parma, Ohio. (common bond—same employer with geographic definition); • Employees of Johnson Soap Company and its majority owned subsidiary, Johnson Toothpaste Company, who work in, are paid from, are supervised from, or are headquartered in Augusta and Portland, Maine. (common bond—parent and subsidiary company with geographic definition); • • Employees of MMLLJS contractor who work regularly at the U.S. Naval Shipyard in E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 88428 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES Bremerton, Washington. (common bond— employees of contractors with geographic definition); • Employees, doctors, medical staff, technicians, medical and nursing students who work in or are paid from the Newport Beach Medical Center, Newport Beach, California. (single corporation with geographic definition); • Employees of JLS, Incorporated and MJM, Incorporated working for the LKM Joint Venture Company in Catalina Island, California. (common bond—same employer— ongoing dependent relationship); • Employees of and students attending Georgetown University. (common bond— same occupation); • Employees of all the schools supervised by the Timbrook Board of Education in Timbrook, Georgia. (common bond—same employer); or • All licensed nurses in Fairfax County, Virginia. (occupational common bond TIP). In contrast, some examples of insufficiently defined single occupational common bonds are: • Employees of manufacturing firms in Seattle, Washington. (no defined occupational sponsor; overly broad TIP); • Persons employed or working in Chicago, Illinois. (no occupational common bond). II.A. 2—Trade, Industry, or Profession A common bond based on employment in a trade, industry, or profession can include employment at any number of corporations or other legal entities that—while not under common ownership—have a common bond by virtue of producing similar products, providing similar services, or participating in the same type of business. While proposed or existing single common bond credit unions have some latitude in defining a trade, industry, or profession occupational common bond, it cannot be defined so broadly as to include groups in fields which are not closely related. For example, the manufacturing industry, energy industry, communications industry, retail industry, or entertainment industry would not qualify as a TIP because each industry lacks the necessary commonality. However, textile workers, realtors, nurses, teachers, police officers, or U.S. military personnel are closely related and each would qualify as a TIP. The common bond relationship must be one that demonstrates a narrow commonality of interests within a specific trade, industry, or profession. If a credit union wants to serve a physician TIP, it can serve all physicians, but that does not mean it can also serve all clerical staff in the physicians’ offices. However, if the TIP is based on the health care industry, then clerical staff would be able to be served by the credit union because they work in the same industry and have the same commonality of interests. If a credit union wants to include the airline services industry, it can serve airline and airport personnel but not passengers. Clients or customers of the TIP are not eligible for credit union membership (e.g., patients in hospitals). Any company that is involved in more than one industry cannot VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 be included in an industry TIP (e.g., a company that makes tobacco products, food products, and electronics). However, employees of these companies may be eligible for membership in a variety of trade/ profession occupational common bond TIPs. Although a TIP should be narrowly defined, and ordinarily would not include third-party vendors and other suppliers, it may include, on a case by case basis, employees of types of entities that have a ‘‘strong dependency relationship’’ and work directly with other types of entities within the industry. In this context, a ‘‘strong dependency relationship’’ between a TIP entity and its supplier/vendor must be demonstrated by their reliance on each other as measured by the presence of indicators of a likelihood that the absence of one would cause the other to suffer a material decline in either revenue, functionality or productivity. Under this definition, a firm whose employees are specially trained to protect nuclear facilities, and whose employees work primarily at such facilities, could be a part of a TIP based on the firm’s participation in the nuclear energy industry. Other ‘‘strong relationship’’ indicators NCUA would consider include the regularity or frequency of work that employees of the entity perform at facilities directly related to the industry, or the degree to which employees must adjust their work practices to adapt to the needs of the industry. For example, a company’s focus on producing specialized confectionary products for a hotel chain could add that company to a hospitality industry TIP. A credit union seeking to include a clause of this type in its TIP charter must provide a brief narrative identifying indicators that support the existence of a strong dependency relationship between the TIP entity and its individual supplier/vendors. Likewise, an FCU may serve employees of companies within the commercial airline industry that have a strong dependency relationship with airlines or airports, without the limitation that these employees work at an airport. However, these employees must work directly with the following: Air transportation of freight, air courier services; air passenger services; airport baggage handling; airport security; commercial airport janitorial services; maintenance, servicing, and repair services; and on board airline food services. The employees of those entities have a narrow commonality of interests, share the single occupational common bond, and can be included within the Air Transportation Industry field of membership. In general, except for credit unions serving a national field of membership or operating in multiple states, a geographic limitation is required for a TIP credit union. The geographic limitation will be part of the credit union’s charter and generally correspond to its current or planned operational area. More than one federal credit union may serve the same trade, industry, or profession, even if both credit unions are in the same geographic location. This type of occupational common bond is only available to single common bond credit PO 00000 Frm 00018 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 unions. A TIP cannot be added to a multiple common bond or community field of membership. To obtain a TIP designation, the proposed or existing credit union must submit a request to the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director. New charter applicants must follow the documentation requirements in Chapter 1. New charter applicants and existing credit unions must submit a business plan on how the credit union will serve the group with the request to serve the TIP. The business plan also must address how the credit union will verify the TIP. Examples of such verification include state licenses, professional licenses, organizational memberships, pay statements, union membership, or employer certification. The Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director must approve this type of field of membership before a credit union can serve a TIP. Credit unions converting to a TIP can retain members of record but cannot add new members from its previous group or groups, unless the group or groups are part of the TIP. Section II.B on Occupational Common Bond Amendments does not apply to a TIP common bond. Removing or changing a geographical limitation will be processed as a housekeeping amendment. If safety and soundness concerns are present, the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director may require additional information before the request can be processed. Section II.H, on Other Persons Eligible for Credit Union Membership, applies to TIP based credit unions except for the corporate account provision which only applies to industry based TIPs. Credit unions with industry based TIPs may include corporations as members because they have the same commonality of interests as all employees in the industry. For example, an airline service TIP (industry) can serve an airline carrier (corporate account); however, a nurses TIP (profession) could not serve a hospital (corporate account) because not everyone working in the hospital shares the same profession. If a TIP designated credit union wishes to convert to a different TIP or employer-based occupational common bond, or different charter type, it only retains members of record after the conversion. The Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director, for safety and soundness reasons, may approve a TIP designated credit union to convert to its original field of membership. II.B—Occupational Common Bond Amendments II.B.1—General Section 5 of every single occupational federal credit union’s charter defines the field of membership the credit union can legally serve. Only those persons or legal entities specified in the field of membership can be served. There are a number of instances in which Section 5 must be amended by NCUA. First, a group sharing the credit union’s common bond is added to the field of membership. This may occur through various ways including agreement between the group and the credit union directly, or through a E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations merger, corporate acquisition, purchase and assumption (P&A), or spin-off. Second, if the entire field of membership is acquired by another corporation, the credit union can serve the employees of the new corporation and any subsidiaries after receiving NCUA approval. Third, a federal credit union qualifies to change its common bond from: • A single occupational common bond to a single associational common bond; • • A single occupational common bond to a community charter; or • A single occupational common bond to a multiple common bond. Fourth, a federal credit union removes a portion of the group from its field of membership through agreement with the group, a spin-off, or because a portion of the group is no longer in existence. An existing single occupational common bond federal credit union that submits a request to amend its charter must provide documentation to establish that the occupational common bond requirement has been met. The Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director must approve all amendments to an occupational common bond credit union’s field of membership. II.B.Restructuring If the single common bond group that comprises a federal credit union’s field of membership undergoes a substantial restructuring, the result is often that portions of the group are sold or spun off. This requires a change to the credit union’s field of membership. NCUA will not permit a single common bond credit union to maintain in its field of membership a sold or spun-off group to which it has been providing service unless the group otherwise qualifies for membership in the credit union or the credit union converts to a multiple common bond credit union. If the group comprising the single common bond of the credit union merges with, or is acquired by, another group, the credit union can serve the new group resulting from the merger or acquisition after receiving a housekeeping amendment. asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES II.B.3—Economic Advisability Prior to granting a common bond expansion, NCUA will examine the amendment’s likely effect on the credit union’s operations and financial condition. In most cases, the information needed for analyzing the effect of adding a particular group will be available to NCUA through the examination and financial and statistical reports; however, in particular cases, the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director may require additional information prior to making a decision. II.B.Documentation Requirements A federal credit union requesting a common bond expansion must submit an Application for Field of Membership Amendment (NCUA 4015–EZ) to the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director. An authorized credit union representative must sign the request. VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 II.C—NCUA’s Procedures for Amending the Field of Membership II.C.1—General All requests for approval to amend a federal credit union’s charter must be submitted to the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director. II.C.2—Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director Decision NCUA staff will review all amendment requests in order to ensure compliance with NCUA policy. Before acting on a proposed amendment, the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director may require an on-site review. In addition, the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director may, after taking into account the significance of the proposed field of membership amendment, require the applicant to submit a business plan addressing specific issues. The financial and operational condition of the requesting credit union will be considered in every instance. NCUA will carefully consider the economic advisability of expanding the field of membership of a credit union with financial or operational problems. In most cases, field of membership amendments will only be approved for credit unions that are operating satisfactorily. Generally, if a federal credit union is having difficulty providing service to its current membership, or is experiencing financial or other operational problems, it may have more difficulty serving an expanded field of membership. Occasionally, however, an expanded field of membership may provide the basis for reversing current financial problems. In such cases, an amendment to expand the field of membership may be granted notwithstanding the credit union’s financial or operational problems. The applicant credit union must clearly establish that the expanded field of membership is in the best interest of the members and will not increase the risk to the NCUSIF. II.C.3—Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director Approval If the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director approves the requested amendment, the credit union will be issued an amendment to Section 5 of its charter. II.C.4—Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director Disapproval When the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director disapproves any application, in whole or in part, to amend the field of membership under this chapter, the applicant will be informed in writing of the: • Specific reasons for the action; • Options to consider, if appropriate, for gaining approval; and • Appeal procedure. PO 00000 Frm 00019 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 88429 II.C.5—Appeal of Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director Decision If a field of membership expansion request, merger, or spin-off is denied by staff, the federal credit union may appeal the decision to the NCUA Board. An appeal must be sent to the NCUA Board Secretary within 60 days of the date of denial. The appeal must be clearly identified as such and must address the specific reason(s) the federal credit union disagrees with the denial. A copy of the appeal must be sent to the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access, or as applicable, the appropriate regional office or Office of National Examinations and Supervision Director. NCUA central office staff will make an independent review of the facts and present the appeal to the Board with a recommendation. Before appealing, the credit union may, within 30 days of the denial, provide supplemental information to the office rendering the initial decision for reconsideration. A reconsideration will contain new and material evidence addressing the reasons for the initial denial. The office rendering the initial decision will have 30 days from the date of the receipt of the request for reconsideration to make a final decision. If the request is again denied, the applicant may proceed with the appeal process within 60 days of the date of the last denial. A second request for reconsideration will be treated as an appeal to the NCUA Board. II.D—Mergers, Purchase and Assumptions, and Spin–Offs In general, other than the addition of common bond groups, there are three additional ways a federal credit union with a single occupational common bond can expand its field of membership: • By taking in the field of membership of another credit union through a common bond or emergency merger; • By taking in the field of membership of another credit union through a common bond or emergency purchase and assumption (P&A); or • By taking a portion of another credit union’s field of membership through a common bond spin-off. II.D.1—Mergers Generally, the requirements applicable to field of membership expansions found in this chapter apply to mergers where the continuing credit union has a federal charter. That is, the two credit unions must share a common bond. Where the merging credit union is statechartered, the common bond rules applicable to a federal credit union apply. Mergers must be approved by the NCUA regional director or Office of National Examinations and Supervision Director where the continuing credit union is headquartered, with the concurrence of the regional director or Office of National Examinations and Supervision Director of the merging credit union, and, as applicable, the state regulators. If a single occupational credit union wants to merge into a multiple common bond or E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 88430 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES community credit union, Section IV.D or Section V.D of this Chapter, respectively, should be reviewed. II.D.Emergency Mergers An emergency merger may be approved by NCUA without regard to common bond or other legal constraints. An emergency merger involves NCUA’s direct intervention and approval. The credit union to be merged must either be insolvent or in danger of insolvency, as defined in the Glossary, and NCUA must determine that: • An emergency requiring expeditious action exists; • Other alternatives are not reasonably available; and • The public interest would best be served by approving the merger. If not corrected, conditions that could lead to insolvency include, but are not limited to: • Abandonment by management; • Loss of sponsor; • Serious and persistent recordkeeping problems; or • • Serious and persistent operational concerns. In an emergency merger situation, NCUA will take an active role in finding a suitable merger partner (continuing credit union). NCUA is primarily concerned that the continuing credit union has the financial strength and management expertise to absorb the troubled credit union without adversely affecting its own financial condition and stability. As a stipulated condition to an emergency merger, the field of membership of the merging credit union may be transferred intact to the continuing federal credit union without regard to any common bond restrictions. Under this authority, therefore, a single occupational common bond federal credit union may take into its field of membership any dissimilar charter type. The common bond characteristic of the continuing credit union in an emergency merger does not change. That is, even though the merging credit union is a multiple common bond or community, the continuing credit union will remain a single common bond credit union. Similarly, if the merging credit union is also an unlike single common bond, the continuing credit union will remain a single common bond credit union. Future common bond expansions will be based on the continuing credit union’s original single common bond. Emergency mergers involving federally insured credit unions in different NCUA field regions must be approved by the regional director or Office of National Examinations and Supervision Director where the continuing credit union is headquartered, with the concurrence of the regional director or Office of National Examinations and Supervision Director of the merging credit union and, as applicable, the state regulators. II.D.Purchase and Assumption (P&A) Another alternative for acquiring the field of membership of a failing credit union is through a consolidation known as a P&A. A P&A has limited application because, in most cases, the failing credit union must be placed VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 into involuntary liquidation. In the few instances where a P&A may be appropriate, the assuming federal credit union, as with emergency mergers, may acquire the entire field of membership if the emergency merger criteria are satisfied. However, if the P&A does not meet the emergency merger criteria, it must be processed under the common bond requirements. In a P&A processed under the emergency criteria, specified loans, shares, and certain other designated assets and liabilities, without regard to common bond restrictions, may also be acquired without changing the character of the continuing federal credit union for purposes of future field of membership amendments. If the purchased and/or assumed credit union’s field of membership does not share a common bond with the purchasing and/or assuming credit union, then the continuing credit union’s original common bond will be controlling for future common bond expansions. P&As involving federally insured credit unions in different NCUA regions must be approved by the regional director or Office of National Examinations and Supervision Director where the continuing credit union is headquartered, with the concurrence of the regional director or Office of National Examinations and Supervision Director of the purchased and/or assumed credit union and, as applicable, the state regulators. II.D.4—Spin-Offs A spin-off occurs when, by agreement of the parties, a portion of the field of membership, assets, liabilities, shares, and capital of a credit union are transferred to a new or existing credit union. A spin-off is unique in that usually one credit union has a field of membership expansion and the other loses a portion of its field of membership. All common bond requirements apply regardless of whether the spun-off group becomes a new credit union or goes to an existing federal charter. The request for approval of a spin-off must be supported with a plan that addresses, at a minimum: • Why the spin-off is being requested; • What part of the field of membership is to be spun off; • Whether the affected credit unions have a common bond (applies only to single occupational credit unions); • Which assets, liabilities, shares, and capital are to be transferred; • The financial impact the spin-off will have on the affected credit unions; • The ability of the acquiring credit union to effectively serve the new members; • The proposed spin-off date; and • Disclosure to the members of the requirements set forth above. The spin-off request must also include current financial statements from the affected credit unions and the proposed voting ballot. For federal credit unions spinning off a group, membership notice and voting requirements and procedures are the same as for mergers (see part 708 of the NCUA Rules and Regulations), except that only the members directly affected by the spin-off— PO 00000 Frm 00020 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 those whose shares are to be transferred—are permitted to vote. Members whose shares are not being transferred will not be afforded the opportunity to vote. All members of the group to be spun off (whether they voted in favor, against, or not at all) will be transferred if the spin-off is approved by the voting membership. Voting requirements for federally insured state credit unions are governed by state law. Spin-offs involving federally insured credit unions in different NCUA regions must be approved by all regional directors and, if applicable, Office of National Examinations and Supervision Director where the credit unions are headquartered and the state regulators, as applicable. Spin-offs in the same region also require approval by the state regulator, as applicable. Spin-offs involving the creation of a new federally insured credit union require the approval of the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director. The Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access also provides advice regarding field of membership compatibility when appropriate. II.E—Overlaps II.E.1—General An overlap exists when a group of persons is eligible for membership in two or more credit unions. NCUA will permit single occupational federal credit unions to overlap any other charter without performing an overlap analysis. II.E.Organizational Restructuring A federal credit union’s field of membership will always be governed by the common bond descriptions contained in Section 5 of its charter. Where a sponsor organization expands its operations internally, by acquisition or otherwise, the credit union may serve these new entrants to its field of membership if they are part of the common bond described in Section 5. NCUA will permit a complete overlap of the credit unions’ fields of membership. If a sponsor organization sells off a group, new members can no longer be served unless they otherwise qualify for membership in the credit union or it converts to a multiple common bond charter. Credit unions must submit documentation explaining the restructuring and providing information regarding the new organizational structure. II.E.3—Exclusionary Clauses An exclusionary clause is a limitation precluding the credit union from serving the primary members of a portion of a group otherwise included in its field of membership. NCUA no longer grants exclusionary clauses. Those granted prior to the adoption of this new Chartering and Field of Membership Manual will remain in effect unless the credit unions agree to remove them or one of the affected credit unions submits a housekeeping amendment to have it removed. II.F—Charter Conversion A single occupational common bond federal credit union may apply to convert to a community charter provided the field of E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations membership requirements of the community charter are met. Groups within the existing charter which cannot qualify in the new charter cannot be served except for members of record, or groups or communities obtained in an emergency merger or P&A. A credit union must notify all groups that will be removed from the field of membership as a result of conversion. Members of record can continue to be served. Also, in order to support a case for a conversion, the applicant federal credit union may be required to develop a detailed business plan as specified in Chapter 2, Section V.A.3. A single occupational common bond federal credit union may apply to convert to a multiple common bond charter by adding a non-common bond group that is within a reasonable proximity of a service facility. Groups within the existing charter may be retained and continue to be served. However, future amendments, including any expansions of the original single common bond group, must be done in accordance with multiple common bond policy. asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES II.G—Removal of Groups From the Field of Membership A credit union may request removal of a portion of the common bond group from its field of membership for various reasons. The most common reasons for this type of amendment are: • The group is within the field of membership of two credit unions and one wishes to discontinue service; • The federal credit union cannot continue to provide adequate service to the group; • The group has ceased to exist; • The group does not respond to repeated requests to contact the credit union or refuses to provide needed support; or • The group initiates action to be removed from the field of membership. When a federal credit union requests an amendment to remove a group from its field of membership, the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director will determine why the credit union desires to remove the group. If the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director concurs with the request, membership will continue for those who are already members under the ‘‘once a member, always a member’’ provision of the Federal Credit Union Act. II.H—Other Persons Eligible for Credit Union Membership A number of persons, by virtue of their close relationship to a common bond group, may be included, at the charter applicant’s option, in the field of membership. These include the following: • Spouses of persons who died while within the field of membership of this credit union; • Employees of this credit union; • Persons retired as pensioners or annuitants from the above employment; • Volunteers; • Members of the immediate family or household; • • Honorably discharged veterans who served in any of the Armed Services of the United States listed in this charter; VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 Organizations of such persons; and • Corporate or other legal entities in this charter. Immediate family is defined as spouse, child, sibling, parent, grandparent, or grandchild. This includes stepparents, stepchildren, stepsiblings, and adoptive relationships. Household is defined as persons living in the same residence maintaining a single economic unit. Membership eligibility is extended only to individuals who are members of an ‘‘immediate family or household’’ of a credit union member. It is not necessary for the primary member to join the credit union in order for the immediate family or household member of the primary member to join, provided the immediate family or household clause is included in the field of membership. However, it is necessary for the immediate family member or household member to first join in order for that person’s immediate family member or household member to join the credit union. A credit union can adopt a more restrictive definition of immediate family or household. Volunteers, by virtue of their close relationship with a sponsor group, may be included. Examples include volunteers working at a hospital or school. Under the Federal Credit Union Act, once a person becomes a member of the credit union, such person may remain a member of the credit union until the person chooses to withdraw or is expelled from the membership of the credit union. This is commonly referred to as ‘‘once a member, always a member.’’ The ‘‘once a member, always a member’’ provision does not prevent a credit union from restricting services to members who are no longer within the field of membership. III—Associational Common Bond III.A.1—General A single associational federal credit union may include in its field of membership, regardless of location, all members and employees of a recognized association. A single associational common bond consists of individuals (natural persons) and/or groups (non-natural persons) whose members participate in activities developing common loyalties, mutual benefits, and mutual interests. Separately chartered associational groups can establish a single common bond relationship if they are integrally related and share common goals and purposes. For example, two or more churches of the same denomination, Knights of Columbus Councils, or locals of the same union can qualify as a single associational common bond. Individuals and groups eligible for membership in a single associational credit union can include the following: • Natural person members of the association (for example, members of a union or church members); • Non-natural person members of the association; • Employees of the association (for example, employees of the labor union or employees of the church); and • The association. Generally, a single associational common bond does not include a geographic PO 00000 Frm 00021 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 88431 definition and can operate nationally. However, a proposed or existing federal credit union may limit its field of membership to a single association or geographic area. NCUA may impose a geographic limitation if it is determined that the applicant credit union does not have the ability to serve a larger group or there are other operational concerns. All single associational common bonds should include a definition of the group that may be served based on the association’s charter, bylaws, and any other equivalent documentation. Applicants for a single associational common bond federal credit union charter or a field of membership amendment to include an association must provide, at the request of NCUA, a copy of the association’s charter, bylaws, or other equivalent documentation, including any legal documents required by the state or other governing authority. The associational sponsor itself may also be included in the field of membership—e.g., ‘‘Sprocket Association’’—and will be shown in the last clause of the field of membership. III.A.1.a—Threshold Requirement Regarding the Purpose for Which an Associational Group Is Formed and the Totality of the Circumstances Criteria As a threshold matter, when reviewing an application to include an association in a federal credit union’s field of membership, NCUA will determine if the association has been formed primarily for the purpose of expanding credit union membership. If NCUA makes such a determination, then the analysis ends and the association is denied inclusion in the federal credit union’s field of membership. If NCUA determines that the association was formed to serve some other separate function as an organization, then NCUA will apply the following totality of the circumstances test to determine if the association satisfies the associational common bond requirements. The totality of the circumstances test consists of the following factors: 1. Whether the association provides opportunities for members to participate in the furtherance of the goals of the association; 2. Whether the association maintains a membership list; 1. 3. Whether the association sponsors other activities; 4. Whether the association’s membership eligibility requirements are authoritative; 5. Whether members pay dues; 6. Whether the members have voting rights; to meet this requirement, members need not vote directly for an officer, but may vote for a delegate who in turn represents the members’ interests; 7. The frequency of meetings; and 8. Separateness—NCUA reviews if there is corporate separateness between the group and the federal credit union. The group and the federal credit union must operate in a way that demonstrates the separate corporate existence of each entity. Specifically, this means the federal credit union’s and the group’s respective business transactions, accounts, and corporate records are not intermingled. E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES 88432 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations No one factor alone is determinative of membership eligibility as an association. The totality of the circumstances controls over any individual factor in the test. However, NCUA’s primary focus will be on factors 1– 4. III.A.1.Pre-Approved Groups NCUA automatically approves the below groups as satisfying the associational common bond provisions. NCUA only approves regular members of an approved group. Honorary, affiliate, or non-regular members do not qualify. These groups are: (1) Alumni associations; (2) Religious organizations, including churches or groups of related churches; (3) Electric cooperatives; (4) Homeowner associations; (1) (5) Labor unions; (6) Scouting groups; (7) Parent teacher associations (PTAs) organized at the local level to serve a single school district; (8) Chamber of commerce groups (members only and not employees of members); (9) Athletic booster clubs whose members have voting rights; (10) Fraternal organizations or civic groups with a mission of community service whose members have voting rights; (11) Organizations having a mission based on preserving or furthering the culture of a particular national or ethnic origin; and (12) Organizations promoting social interaction or educational initiatives among persons sharing a common occupational profession. III.A.1.c—Additional Information A support group whose members are continually changing or whose duration is temporary may not meet the single associational common bond criteria. Each class of member will be evaluated based on the totality of the circumstances. Individuals or honorary members who only make donations to the association are not eligible to join the credit union. Student groups (e.g., students enrolled at a public, private, or parochial school) may constitute either an associational or occupational common bond. For example, students enrolled at a church sponsored school could share a single associational common bond with the members of that church and may qualify for a federal credit union charter. Similarly, students enrolled at a university, as a group by itself, or in conjunction with the faculty and employees of the school, could share a single occupational common bond and may qualify for a federal credit union charter. Tenant groups, consumer groups, and other groups of persons having an ‘‘interest in’’ a particular cause and certain consumer cooperatives may also qualify as an association. Associations based primarily on a clientcustomer relationship do not meet associational common bond requirements. Health clubs are an example of a group not meeting associational common bond requirements, including YMCAs. However, having an incidental client-customer VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 relationship does not preclude an associational charter as long as the associational common bond requirements are met. For example, a fraternal association that offers insurance, which is not a condition of membership, may qualify as a valid associational common bond. III.A.2—Subsequent Changes to Association’s Bylaws If the association’s membership or geographical definitions in its charter and bylaws are changed subsequent to the effective date stated in the field of membership, the credit union must submit the revised charter or bylaws for NCUA’s consideration and approval prior to serving members of the association added as a result of the change. III.A.3—Sample Single Associational Common Bonds Some examples of associational common bonds are: • Regular members of Locals 10 and 13, IBEW, in Florida, who qualify for membership in accordance with their charter and bylaws in effect on May 20, 2001; • Members of the Hoosier Farm Bureau in Grant, Logan, or Lee Counties of Indiana, who qualify for membership in accordance with its charter and bylaws in effect on March 7, 1997; • Members of the Shalom Congregation in Chevy Chase, Maryland; • • Regular members of the Corporate Executives Association, located in Westchester, New York, who qualify for membership in accordance with its charter and bylaws in effect on December 1, 1997; • Members of the University of Wisconsin Alumni Association, located in Green Bay, Wisconsin; • Members of the Marine Corps Reserve Officers Association; or • Members of St. John’s Methodist Church and St. Luke’s Methodist Church, located in Toledo, Ohio. Some examples of insufficiently defined single associational common bonds are: • All Lutherans in the United States (too broadly defined); or • Veterans of U.S. military service (group is too broadly defined; no formal association of all members of the group). Some examples of unacceptable single associational common bonds are: • Alumni of Amos University (no formal association); • Customers of Fleetwood Insurance Company (policyholders or primarily customer/client relationships do not meet associational standards); • Employees of members of the Reston, Virginia, Chamber of Commerce (not a sufficiently close tie to the associational common bond); or • Members of St. John’s Lutheran Church and St. Mary’s Catholic Church located in Anniston, Alabama (churches are not of the same denomination). PO 00000 Frm 00022 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 III.B—Associational Common Bond Amendments III.B.1—General Section 5 of every associational federal credit union’s charter defines the field of membership the credit union can legally serve. Only those persons who, or legal entities that, join the credit union and are specified in the field of membership can be served. There are three instances in which Section 5 must be amended by NCUA. First, a group that shares the credit union’s common bond is added to the field of membership. This may occur through various ways including agreement between the group and the credit union directly, or through a merger, purchase and assumption (P&A), or spin-off. Second, a federal credit union qualifies to change its common bond from: • A single associational common bond to a single occupational common bond; • A single associational common bond to a community charter; or • A single associational common bond to a multiple common bond. Third, a federal credit union removes a portion of the group from its field of membership through agreement with the group, a spin-off, or a portion of the group that is no longer in existence. An existing single associational federal credit union that submits a request to amend its charter must provide documentation to establish that the associational common bond requirement has been met. The Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director must approve all amendments to an associational common bond credit union’s field of membership. III.B.Organizational Restructuring If the single common bond group that comprises a federal credit union’s field of membership undergoes a substantial restructuring, the result is often that portions of the group are sold or spun off. This is an event requiring a change to the credit union’s field of membership. NCUA may not permit a single associational credit union to maintain in its field of membership a sold or spun-off group to which it has been providing service unless the group otherwise qualifies for membership in the credit union or the credit union converts to a multiple common bond credit union. If the group comprising the single common bond of the credit union merges with, or is acquired by, another group, the credit union can serve the new group resulting from the merger or acquisition after receiving a housekeeping amendment. III.B.3—Economic Advisability Prior to granting a common bond expansion, NCUA will examine the amendment’s likely impact on the credit union’s operations and financial condition. In most cases, the information needed for analyzing the effect of adding a particular group will be available to NCUA through the examination and financial and statistical reports; however, in particular cases, the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director may require additional information prior to making a decision. E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations III.B.Documentation Requirements A federal credit union requesting a common bond expansion must submit an Application for Field of Membership Amendment (NCUA 4015–EZ) to the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director. An authorized credit union representative must sign the request. III.C—NCUA Procedures for Amending the Field of Membership III.C.1—General All requests for approval to amend a federal credit union’s charter must be submitted to the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director. asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES III.C.C.2—Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director Decision NCUA staff will review all amendment requests in order to ensure conformance to NCUA policy. Before acting on a proposed amendment, the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director may require an on-site review. In addition, the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director may, after taking into account the significance of the proposed field of membership amendment, require the applicant to submit a business plan addressing specific issues. The financial and operational condition of the requesting credit union will be considered in every instance. The economic advisability of expanding the field of membership of a credit union with financial or operational problems must be carefully considered. In most cases, field of membership amendments will only be approved for credit unions that are operating satisfactorily. Generally, if a federal credit union is having difficulty providing service to its current membership, or is experiencing financial or other operational problems, it may have more difficulty serving an expanded field of membership. Occasionally, however, an expanded field of membership may provide the basis for reversing current financial problems. In such cases, an amendment to expand the field of membership may be granted notwithstanding the credit union’s financial or operational problems. The applicant credit union must clearly establish that the expanded field of membership is in the best interest of the members and will not increase the risk to the NCUSIF. III.C.3—Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director Approval If the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director approves the requested amendment, the credit union will be issued an amendment to Section 5 of its charter. III.C.4—Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director Disapproval When the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director disapproves any application, in whole or in part, to amend the field of membership under this chapter, the applicant will be informed in writing of the: VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 • Specific reasons for the action; • Options to consider, if appropriate, for gaining approval; and • Appeal procedures. III.C.5—Appeal of Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director Decision If a field of membership expansion request, merger, or spin-off is denied by staff, the federal credit union may appeal the decision to the NCUA Board. An appeal must be sent to the NCUA Board Secretary within 60 days of the date of denial and must be clearly identified as such and address the reason(s) the federal credit union disagrees with the denial. A copy of the appeal must be sent to the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access, or as applicable, the appropriate regional office or Office of National Examinations and Supervision Director. NCUA central office staff will make an independent review of the facts and present the appeal to the NCUA Board with a recommendation. Before appealing, the credit union may, within 30 days of the denial, provide supplemental information to the office rendering the initial decision for reconsideration. A reconsideration will contain new and material evidence addressing the reasons for the initial denial. The office rendering the initial decision will have 30 days from the date of the receipt of the request for reconsideration to make a final decision. If the request is again denied, the applicant may proceed with the appeal process within 60 days of the date of the last denial. A second request for reconsideration will be treated as an appeal to the NCUA Board. III.D—Mergers, Purchase and Assumptions, and Spin-Offs In general, other than the addition of common bond groups, there are three additional ways a federal credit union with a single associational common bond can expand its field of membership: • By taking in the field of membership of another credit union through a common bond or emergency merger; • By taking in the field of membership of another credit union through a common bond or emergency purchase and assumption (P&A); or • By taking a portion of another credit union’s field of membership through a common bond spin-off. III.D.1—Mergers Generally, the requirements applicable to field of membership expansions found in this section apply to mergers where the continuing credit union is a federal charter. That is, the two credit unions must share a common bond. Where the merging credit union is statechartered, the common bond rules applicable to a federal credit union apply. Mergers must be approved by the NCUA regional director or Office of National Examinations and Supervision Director where the continuing credit union is headquartered, with the concurrence of the regional director or Office of National Examinations and Supervision Director of the PO 00000 Frm 00023 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 88433 merging credit union, and, as applicable, the state regulators. If a single associational credit union wants to merge into a multiple common bond or community credit union, Section IV.D or Section V.D of this Chapter, respectively, should be reviewed. III.D.Emergency Mergers An emergency merger may be approved by NCUA without regard to common bond or other legal constraints. An emergency merger involves NCUA’s direct intervention and approval. The credit union to be merged must either be insolvent or in danger of insolvency, as defined in the Glossary, and NCUA must determine that: • An emergency requiring expeditious action exists; • Other alternatives are not reasonably available; and • The public interest would best be served by approving the merger. If not corrected, conditions that could lead to insolvency include, but are not limited to: • Abandonment by management; • Loss of sponsor; • Serious and persistent record-keeping problems; or • Serious and persistent operational concerns. In an emergency merger situation, NCUA will take an active role in finding a suitable merger partner (continuing credit union). NCUA is primarily concerned that the continuing credit union has the financial strength and management expertise to absorb the troubled credit union without adversely affecting its own financial condition and stability. As a stipulated condition to an emergency merger, the field of membership of the merging credit union may be transferred intact to the continuing federal credit union without regard to any common bond restrictions. Under this authority, therefore, a single associational common bond federal credit union may take into its field of membership any dissimilar charter type. The common bond characteristic of the continuing credit union in an emergency merger does not change. That is, even though the merging credit union is a multiple common bond or community, the continuing credit union will remain a single common bond credit union. Similarly, if the merging credit union is an unlike single common bond, the continuing credit union will remain a single common bond credit union. Future common bond expansions will be based on the continuing credit union’s single common bond. Emergency mergers involving federally insured credit unions in different NCUA regions must be approved by the regional director or Office of National Examinations and Supervision Director where the continuing credit union is headquartered, with the concurrence of the regional director or Office of National Examinations and Supervision Director of the merging credit union and, as applicable, the state regulators. III.D.Purchase and Assumption (P&A) Another alternative for acquiring the field of membership of a failing credit union is E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 88434 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES through a consolidation known as a P&A. A P&A has limited application because, in most cases, the failing credit union must be placed into involuntary liquidation. In the few instances where a P&A may be appropriate, the assuming federal credit union, as with emergency mergers, may acquire the entire field of membership if the emergency merger criteria are satisfied. However, if the P&A does not meet the emergency merger criteria, it must be processed under the common bond requirements. In a P&A processed under the emergency criteria, specified loans, shares, and certain other designated assets and liabilities, without regard to common bond restrictions, may also be acquired without changing the character of the continuing federal credit union for purposes of future field of membership amendments. If the purchased and/or assumed credit union’s field of membership does not share a common bond with the purchasing and/or assuming credit union, then the continuing credit union’s original common bond will be controlling for future common bond expansions. P&As involving federally insured credit unions in different NCUA regions must be approved by the regional director or Office of National Examinations and Supervision Director where the continuing credit union is headquartered, with the concurrence of the regional director or Office of National Examinations and Supervision Director of the purchased and/or assumed credit union and, as applicable, the state regulators. III.D.4—Spin-Offs A spin-off occurs when, by agreement of the parties, a portion of the field of membership, assets, liabilities, shares, and capital of a credit union are transferred to a new or existing credit union. A spin-off is unique in that usually one credit union has a field of membership expansion and the other loses a portion of its field of membership. All common bond requirements apply regardless of whether the spun-off group becomes a new credit union or goes to an existing federal charter. The request for approval of a spin-off must be supported with a plan that addresses, at a minimum: • Why the spin-off is being requested; • What part of the field of membership is to be spun off; • Whether the affected credit unions have the same common bond (applies only to single associational credit unions); • Which assets, liabilities, shares, and capital are to be transferred; • The financial impact the spin-off will have on the affected credit unions; • The ability of the acquiring credit union to effectively serve the new members; • The proposed spin-off date; and • Disclosure to the members of the requirements set forth above. The spin-off request must also include current financial statements from the affected credit unions and the proposed voting ballot. For federal credit unions spinning off a group, membership notice and voting requirements and procedures are the same as VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 for mergers (see part 708 of the NCUA Rules and Regulations), except that only the members directly affected by the spin-off— those whose shares are to be transferred—are permitted to vote. Members whose shares are not being transferred will not be afforded the opportunity to vote. All members of the group to be spun off (whether they voted in favor, against, or not at all) will be transferred if the spin-off is approved by the voting membership. Voting requirements for federally insured state credit unions are governed by state law. Spin-offs involving federally insured credit unions in different NCUA regions must be approved by all regional directors and, if applicable, Office of National Examinations and Supervision Director where the credit unions are headquartered and the state regulators, as applicable. Spin-offs in the same region also require approval by the state regulator, as applicable. Spin-offs involving the creation of a new federally insured credit union require the approval of the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director. The Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access also provides advice regarding field of membership compatibility when appropriate. III.E—Overlaps III.E.1—General An overlap exists when a group of persons is eligible for membership in two or more credit unions. NCUA will permit single associational federal credit unions to overlap any other charters without performing an overlap analysis. III.E.Organizational Restructuring A federal credit union’s field of membership will always be governed by the common bond descriptions contained in Section 5 of its charter. Where a sponsor organization expands its operations internally, by acquisition or otherwise, the credit union may serve these new entrants to its field of membership if they are part of the common bond described in Section 5. NCUA will permit a complete overlap of the credit unions’ fields of membership. If a sponsor organization sells off a group, new members can no longer be served unless they otherwise qualify for membership in the credit union or it converts to a multiple common bond. Credit unions must submit documentation explaining the restructuring and providing information regarding the new organizational structure. III.E.3—Exclusionary Clauses An exclusionary clause is a limitation precluding the credit union from serving the primary members of a portion of a group otherwise included in its field of membership. NCUA no longer grants exclusionary clauses. Those granted prior to the adoption of this new Chartering and Field of Membership Manual will remain in effect unless the credit unions agree to remove them or one of the affected credit unions submits a housekeeping amendment to have it removed. PO 00000 Frm 00024 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 III.F—Charter Conversions A single associational common bond federal credit union may apply to convert to a community charter provided the field of membership requirements of the community charter are met. Groups within the existing charter which cannot qualify in the new charter cannot be served except for members of record, or groups or communities obtained in an emergency merger or P&A. A credit union must notify all groups that will be removed from the field of membership as a result of conversion. Members of record can continue to be served. Also, in order to support a case for a conversion, the applicant federal credit union may be required to develop a detailed business plan as specified in Chapter 2, Section V.A.3. A single associational common bond federal credit union may apply to convert to a multiple common bond charter by adding a non-common bond group that is within a reasonable proximity of a service facility. Groups within the existing charter may be retained and continue to be served. However, future amendments, including any expansions of the original single common bond group, must be done in accordance with multiple common bond policy. III.G—Removal of Groups From the Field of Membership A credit union may request removal of a portion of the common bond group from its field of membership for various reasons. The most common reasons for this type of amendment are: • The group is within the field of membership of two credit unions and one wishes to discontinue service; • The federal credit union cannot continue to provide adequate service to the group; • The group has ceased to exist; • The group does not respond to repeated requests to contact the credit union or refuses to provide needed support; or • The group initiates action to be removed from the field of membership. When a federal credit union requests an amendment to remove a group from its field of membership, the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director will determine why the credit union desires to remove the group. If the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director concurs with the request, membership will continue for those who are already members under the ‘‘once a member, always a member’’ provision of the Federal Credit Union Act. III.H—Other Persons Eligible for Credit Union Membership A number of persons by virtue of their close relationship to a common bond group may be included, at the charter applicant’s option, in the field of membership. These include the following: • Spouses of persons who died while within the field of membership of this credit union; • Employees of this credit union; • Volunteers; • Members of the immediate family or household; • E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations • Honorably discharged veterans who served in any of the Armed Services of the United States in this charter; Organizations of such persons; and • Corporate or other legal entities in this charter. Immediate family is defined as spouse, child, sibling, parent, grandparent, or grandchild. This includes stepparents, stepchildren, stepsiblings, and adoptive relationships. Household is defined as persons living in the same residence maintaining a single economic unit. Membership eligibility is extended only to individuals who are members of an ‘‘immediate family or household’’ of a credit union member. It is not necessary for the primary member to join the credit union in order for the immediate family or household member of the primary member to join, provided the immediate family or household clause is included in the field of membership. However, it is necessary for the immediate family member or household member to first join in order for that person’s immediate family member or household member to join the credit union. A credit union can adopt a more restrictive definition of immediate family or household. Volunteers, by virtue of their close relationship with a sponsor group, may be included. One example is volunteers working at a church. Under the Federal Credit Union Act, once a person becomes a member of the credit union, such person may remain a member of the credit union until the person chooses to withdraw or is expelled from the membership of the credit union. This is commonly referred to as ‘‘once a member, always a member.’’ The ‘‘once a member, always a member’’ provision does not prevent a credit union from restricting services to members who are no longer within the field of membership. asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES IV—Multiple Occupational/Associational Common Bonds IV.A.1—General 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, a multiple common bond 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 or expand using single common bond criteria. Employment in a corporation or other legal entity which is related to another legal entity (such as a company under contract to, and possessing a strong dependency relationship with, the other company) makes that person part of the occupational common bond of a VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 select employee group within a multiple common bond. In this context, a ‘‘strong dependency relationship’’ is a relationship in which the entities rely on each other as measured by a pattern of regularly doing business with each other, for example, as documented by the number, the term length, and the dollar volume of prior and pending contracts between them. A multiple common bond credit union’s charter may also combine individual occupational groups that each consist of employees of a retailer or other business tenant of an industrial park, a shopping mall, office park or office building (each ‘‘a park’’). To be able to have this type of clause in its charter, the multiple common bond credit union first must receive a request from an authorized representative of the group or the park to establish credit union service. The park must be within the multiple common bond credit union’s service area, and each occupational group must have fewer than 3,000 employees, who are eligible for membership only for so long as each is employed by a park tenant. Under this clause, a multiple common bond credit union can enroll group employees only while the group’s retail or business employer is a park tenant, but such credit unions are free to serve employees of new groups under the above conditions as each respective employer becomes a park tenant. 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 non-availability 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 Web site. The select 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. PO 00000 Frm 00025 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 88435 IV.A.2—Sample Multiple Common Bond Field of Membership An example of a multiple common bond field of membership is: ‘‘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; 4. Employees of tenants of MJB Office Park under the following conditions: —Each tenant’s employees form an individual occupational group; —the tenant has fewer than 3,000 employees working at MJB Office Park; and —those employees work in MJB Office Park’s Wilmington, Delaware location,’’ IV.B—Multiple Common Bond Amendments IV.B.1—General Section 5 of every multiple common bond federal credit union’s charter defines the field of membership and select groups the credit union can legally serve. Only those persons or legal entities specified in the field of membership can be served. There are a number of instances in which Section 5 must be amended by NCUA. First, a new select group is added to the field of membership. This may occur through agreement between the group and the credit union directly, or through a merger, corporate acquisition, purchase and assumption (P&A), or spin-off. Second, a federal credit union qualifies to change its charter from: • A single occupational or associational charter to a multiple common bond charter; • A multiple common bond to a single occupational or associational charter; • A multiple common bond to a community charter; or • A community to a multiple common bond charter. Third, a federal credit union removes a group from its field of membership through agreement with the group, a spin-off, or because the group no longer exists. IV.B.2—Numerical Limitation of Select Groups An existing multiple common bond federal credit union that submits a request to amend its charter must provide documentation to establish that the multiple common bond requirements have been met. The Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director must approve all amendments to a multiple common bond credit union’s field of membership. NCUA will approve groups to a credit union’s field of membership if the agency determines in writing that the following criteria are met: • The credit union has not engaged in any unsafe or unsound practice, as determined by the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director, with input from the appropriate regional director or Office of E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES 88436 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations National Examinations and Supervision Director, which is material during the one year period preceding the filing to add the group; • The credit union is ‘‘adequately capitalized’’ pursuant to Part 702 of NCUA’s Rules and Regulations. For low-income credit unions or credit unions chartered less than ten years, the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director, with input from the appropriate regional director or Office of National Examinations and Supervision Director, may determine that a less than ‘‘adequately capitalized’’ credit union can qualify for an expansion if it is making reasonable progress toward becoming ‘‘adequately capitalized.’’ For any other credit union, the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director, with input from the appropriate regional director or Office of National Examinations and Supervision Director, may determine that a less than ‘‘adequately capitalized’’ credit union can qualify for an expansion if it is making reasonable progress toward becoming ‘‘adequately capitalized,’’ and the addition of the group would not adversely affect the credit union’s capitalization level; • The credit union has the administrative capability to serve the proposed group and the financial resources to meet the need for additional staff and assets to serve the new group; • Any potential harm the expansion may have on any other credit union and its members is clearly outweighed by the probable beneficial effect of the expansion. With respect to a proposed expansion’s effect on other credit unions, the requirements on overlapping fields of membership set forth in Section IV.E of this Chapter are also applicable; and • If the formation of a separate credit union by such group is not practical and consistent with reasonable standards for the safe and sound operation of a credit union. The Federal Credit Union Act presumes that a group of 3,000 or more primary potential members is able to form its own stand-alone credit union unless NCUA determines that it is infeasible to do so for reasons such as: (i) The group lacks sufficient volunteer and other resources to support the efficient and effective operation of its own credit union; (ii) the group does not meet criteria that the Board has determined to be an important indicator of success in establishing and managing a new credit union, including demographic characteristics such as the geographic location of members, the diversity of ages and income levels among members, and other factors that may affect such a credit union’s financial viability and stability; or (iii) the group would be unlikely to operate a safe and sound credit union. As such, NCUA requires additional information when a multiple common bond credit union applies to add a group of 3,000 or more primary potential members. For groups between 3,000 and 4,999 potential members, NCUA requires documentation indicating the group has a lack of available subsidies, interest among the group’s members, and sufficient resources. For such cases NCUA, in its discretion, will accept a VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 written statement indicating these conditions exist as sufficient documentation the group cannot form its own credit union. Groups with 5,000 or more members will be subject to the standard document requirements as discussed later in this chapter, requiring a group to fully describe its inability to establish a new single common bond credit union. IV.B.Documentation Requirements A multiple common bond credit union requesting a select group expansion must submit a formal written request, using the Application for Field of Membership Amendment (NCUA 4015–EZ, NCUA 4015– A or NCUA 4015) to the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director. An authorized credit union representative must sign the request. The NCUA 4015–EZ (for groups less than 3,000 potential members) must be accompanied by the following: • A letter, or equivalent documentation, from the group requesting credit union service. This letter must indicate: • That the group wants to be added to the applicant federal credit union’s field of membership; • The number of persons currently included within the group to be added and their locations; and • The group’s proximity to the credit union’s nearest service facility. • The most recent copy of the group’s charter and bylaws or equivalent documentation (for associational groups). The NCUA 4015–A (for groups between 3,000 and 4,999 primary potential members) must be accompanied by the following: • A letter, or equivalent documentation, from the group requesting credit union service. This letter must indicate: • That the group wants to be added to the federal credit union’s field of membership; • The number of persons currently included within the group to be added and their locations; • The group’s proximity to credit union’s nearest service facility, and • Why the formation of a separate credit union for the group is not practical or consistent with safety and soundness standards because of a lack of available subsidies, interest among the group’s members, and sufficient resources. The NCUA 4015 (for groups of 5,000 or more primary potential members) must be accompanied by the following: • A letter, or equivalent documentation, from the group requesting credit union service. This letter must indicate: • That the group wants to be added to the federal credit union’s field of membership; • Whether the group presently has other credit union service available; • The number of persons currently included within the group to be added and their locations; • The group’s proximity to credit union’s nearest service facility, and • Why the formation of a separate credit union for the group is not practical or consistent with safety and soundness standards. A credit union need not address every item on the list, simply those issues that are relevant to its particular request: PO 00000 Frm 00026 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 Member location—whether the membership is widely dispersed or concentrated in a central location. Demographics—the employee turnover rate, economic status of the group’s members, and whether the group is more apt to consist of savers and/or borrowers. Market competition—the availability of other financial services. Desired services and products—the type of services the group desires in comparison to the type of services a new credit union could offer. Sponsor subsidies—the availability of operating subsidies. The desire of the sponsor—the extent of the sponsor’s interest in supporting a credit union charter. Employee interest—the extent of the employees’ interest in obtaining a credit union charter. Evidence of past failure—whether the group previously had its own credit union or previously filed for a credit union charter. Administrative capacity to provide services—will the group have the management expertise to provide the services requested. • If the group is eligible for membership in any other credit union, documentation must be provided to support inclusion of the group under the overlap standards set forth in Section IV.E of this Chapter; and • The most recent copy of the group’s charter and bylaws or equivalent documentation (for associational groups). IV.B.Restructuring If a select group within a federal credit union’s field of membership undergoes a substantial restructuring, a change to the credit union’s field of membership may be required if the credit union is to continue to provide service to the select group. NCUA permits a multiple common bond credit union to maintain in its field of membership a sold, spun-off, or merged select group to which it has been providing service. This type of amendment to the credit union’s charter is not considered an expansion; therefore, the criteria relating to adding new groups are not applicable. When two groups merge and each is in the field of membership of a credit union, then both (or all affected) credit unions can serve the resulting merged group, subject to any existing geographic limitation and without regard to any overlap provisions. However, the credit unions cannot serve the other multiple groups that may be in the field of membership of the other credit union. IV.C—NCUA’s Procedures for Amending the Field of Membership IV.C.1—General All requests for approval to amend a federal credit union’s charter must be submitted to the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director. IV.C.2—Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director Decision NCUA staff will review all amendment requests in order to ensure conformance to NCUA policy. Before acting on a proposed amendment, the Office of Consumer Financial Protection E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations and Access Director may require an on-site review. In addition, the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director may, after taking into account the significance of the proposed field of membership amendment, require the applicant to submit a business plan addressing specific issues. The financial and operational condition of the requesting credit union will be considered in every instance. An expanded field of membership may provide the basis for reversing adverse trends. In such cases, an amendment to expand the field of membership may be granted notwithstanding the credit union’s adverse trends. The applicant credit union must clearly establish that the approval of the expanded field of membership meets the requirements of Section IV.B.2 of this Chapter and will not increase the risk to the NCUSIF. IV.C.3—Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director Approval If the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director approves the requested amendment, the credit union will be issued an amendment to Section 5 of its charter. asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES IV.C.4—Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director Disapproval When the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director disapproves any application, in whole or in part, to amend the field of membership under this chapter, the applicant will be informed in writing of the: • Specific reasons for the action; • • Options to consider, if appropriate, for gaining approval; and • Appeal procedure. IV.C.5—Appeal of Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director Decision If a field of membership expansion request, merger, or spin-off is denied by staff, the federal credit union may appeal the decision to the NCUA Board. An appeal must be sent to the NCUA Board Secretary within 60 days of the date of denial and must be clearly identified as such and address the reason(s) the federal credit union disagrees with the denial. A copy of the appeal must be sent to the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access or, as applicable, the appropriate regional office or Office of National Examinations and Supervision Director. NCUA central office staff will make an independent review of the facts and present the appeal to the NCUA Board with a recommendation. Before appealing, the credit union may, within 30 days of the denial, provide supplemental information to the office rendering the initial decision for reconsideration. A reconsideration will contain new and material evidence addressing the reasons for the initial denial. The office rendering the initial decision will have 30 days from the date of the receipt of the request for reconsideration to make a final decision. If the request is again denied, the applicant may proceed with the appeal process within 60 days of the date of the last VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 denial. A second request for reconsideration will be treated as an appeal to the NCUA Board. IV.D—Mergers, Purchase and Assumptions, and Spin-Offs In general, other than the addition of select groups, there are three additional ways a multiple common bond federal credit union can expand its field of membership: • By taking in the field of membership of another credit union through a merger; • By taking in the field of membership of another credit union through a purchase and assumption (P&A); or • By taking a portion of another credit union’s field of membership through a spinoff. IV.D. Voluntary Mergers a. All Select Groups in the Merging Credit Union’s Field of Membership Have Less Than 3,000 Primary Potential Members A voluntary merger of two or more federal credit unions is permissible as long as each select group in the merging credit union’s field of membership has less than 3,000 primary potential members. While the merger requirements outlined in Section 205 of the Federal Credit Union Act must still be met, the requirements of Chapter 2, Section IV.B.2 of this manual are not applicable. b. One or More Select Groups in the Merging Credit Union’s Field of Membership Has 3,000 or More Primary Potential Members If the merging credit unions serve the same group, and the group consists of 3,000 or more primary potential members, then the ability to form a separate credit union analysis is not required for that group. If the merging credit union has any other groups consisting of 3,000 or more primary potential members, special requirements apply. NCUA will analyze each group of 3,000 or more primary potential members, except as noted above, to determine whether the formation of a separate credit union by such a group is practical. If the formation of a separate credit union by such a group is not practical because the group lacks sufficient volunteer and other resources to support the efficient and effective operations of a credit union or does not meet the economic advisable criteria outlined in Chapter 1, the group may be merged into a multiple common bond credit union. If the formation of a separate credit union is practical, the group must be spunoff before the merger can be approved. c. Merger of a Single Common Bond Credit Union Into a Multiple Common Bond Credit Union A financially healthy single common bond credit union with a primary potential membership of 3,000 or more cannot merge into a multiple common bond credit union, absent supervisory reasons, unless the continuing credit union already serves the same group. d. Merger Approval If the merger is approved, the qualifying groups within the merging credit union’s field of membership will be transferred intact to the continuing credit union and can continue to be served. PO 00000 Frm 00027 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 88437 Where the merging credit union is statechartered, the field of membership rules applicable to a federal credit union apply. Mergers must be approved by the applicable NCUA regional or Office of National Examinations and Supervision Director where the continuing credit union is headquartered, with the concurrence of the regional director or Office of National Examinations and Supervision Director of the merging credit union, and, as applicable, the state regulators. IV.D.2—Supervisory Mergers The NCUA may approve the merger of any federally insured credit union when safety and soundness concerns are present without regard to the 3,000 numerical limitation. The credit union need not be insolvent or in danger of insolvency for NCUA to use this statutory authority. Examples constituting appropriate reasons for using this authority are: abandonment of the management and/or officials and an inability to find replacements, loss of sponsor support, serious and persistent record-keeping problems, sustained material decline in financial condition, or other serious or persistent circumstances. IV.D. Emergency Mergers An emergency merger may be approved by NCUA without regard to common bond or other legal constraints. An emergency merger involves NCUA’s direct intervention and approval. The credit union to be merged must either be insolvent or in danger of insolvency, as defined in the Glossary, and NCUA must determine that: • An emergency requiring expeditious action exists; • Other alternatives are not reasonably available; and • The public interest would best be served by approving the merger. If not corrected, conditions that could lead to insolvency include, but are not limited to: • Abandonment by management; • Loss of sponsor; • Serious and persistent record-keeping problems; or • Serious and persistent operational concerns. In an emergency merger situation, NCUA will take an active role in finding a suitable merger partner (continuing credit union). NCUA is primarily concerned that the continuing credit union has the financial strength and management expertise to absorb the troubled credit union without adversely affecting its own financial condition and stability. As a stipulated condition to an emergency merger, the field of membership of the merging credit union may be transferred intact to the continuing federal credit union without regard to any field of membership restrictions including numerical limitation requirements. Under this authority, any single occupational or associational common bond, multiple common bond, or community charter may merger into a multiple common bond credit union and that credit union can continue to serve the merging credit union’s field of membership. Subsequent field of membership expansions of the continuing E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 88438 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations multiple common bond credit union must be consistent with multiple common bond policies. Emergency mergers involving federally insured credit unions in different NCUA regions must be approved by the regional director or Office of National Examinations and Supervision Director where the continuing credit union is headquartered, with the concurrence of the regional director or Office of National Examinations and Supervision Director of the merging credit union and, as applicable, the state regulators. asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES IV.D. Purchase and Assumption (P&A) Another alternative for acquiring the field of membership of a failing credit union is through a consolidation known as a P&A. Generally, the requirements applicable to field of membership expansions found in this chapter apply to purchase and assumptions where the purchasing credit union is a federal charter. A P&A has limited application because, in most cases, the failing credit union must be placed into involuntary liquidation. However, in the few instances where a P&A may occur, the assuming federal credit union, as with emergency mergers, may acquire the entire field of membership if the emergency criteria are satisfied. Specified loans, shares, and certain other designated assets and liabilities, without regard to field of membership restrictions, may also be acquired without changing the character of the continuing federal credit union for purposes of future field of membership amendments. Subsequent field of membership expansions must be consistent with multiple common bond policies. P&As involving federally insured credit unions in different NCUA regions must be approved by the regional director or Office of National Examinations and Supervision Director where the continuing credit union is headquartered, with the concurrence of the regional director or Office of National Examinations and Supervision Director of the purchased and/or assumed credit union and, as applicable, the state regulators. IV.D.5—Spin-Offs A spin-off occurs when, by agreement of the parties, a portion of the field of membership, assets, liabilities, shares, and capital of a credit union are transferred to a new or existing credit union. A spin-off is unique in that usually one credit union has a field of membership expansion and the other loses a portion of its field of membership. All common bond requirements apply regardless of whether the spun-off group becomes a new charter or goes to an existing federal charter. The request for approval of a spun-off group must be supported with a plan that addresses, at a minimum: • Why the spin-off is being requested; • What part of the field of membership is to be spun off; • Which assets, liabilities, shares, and capital are to be transferred; • The financial impact the spin-off will have on the affected credit unions; • The ability of the acquiring credit union to effectively serve the new members; VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 • The proposed spin-off date; and • Disclosure to the members of the requirements set forth above. The spin-off request must also include current financial statements from the affected credit unions and the proposed voting ballot. For federal credit unions spinning off a group, membership notice and voting requirements and procedures are the same as for mergers (see part 708 of the NCUA Rules and Regulations), except that only the members directly affected by the spin-off— those whose shares are to be transferred—are permitted to vote. Members whose shares are not being transferred will not be afforded the opportunity to vote. All members of the group to be spun off (whether they voted in favor, against, or not at all) will be transferred if the spin-off is approved by the voting membership. Voting requirements for federally insured state credit unions are governed by state law. Spin-offs involving federally insured credit unions in different NCUA regions must be approved by all regional directors and, if applicable, the Office of National Examinations and Supervision Director where the credit unions are headquartered and the state regulators, as applicable. Spinoffs in the same region also require approval by the state regulator, as applicable. IV.E—Overlaps IV.E.1—General An overlap exists when a group of persons is eligible for membership in two or more credit unions, including state charters. An overlap is permitted when the expansion’s beneficial effect in meeting the convenience and needs of the members of the group proposed to be included in the field of membership outweighs any adverse effect on the overlapped credit union. Credit unions must investigate the possibility of an overlap with federally insured credit unions prior to submitting an expansion request if the group has 5,000 or more primary potential members. If cases arise where the assurance given to the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director concerning the unavailability of credit union service is inaccurate, the misinformation may be grounds for removal of the group from the federal credit union’s charter. When an overlap situation requiring analysis does arise, officials of the expanding credit union must ascertain the views of the overlapped credit union. If the overlapped credit union does not object, the applicant must submit a letter or other documentation to that effect. If the overlapped credit union does not respond, the expanding credit union must notify NCUA in writing of its attempt to obtain the overlapped credit union’s comments. NCUA will approve an overlap if the expansion’s beneficial effect in meeting the convenience and needs of the members of the group outweighs any adverse effect on the overlapped credit union. In reviewing the overlap, the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director will consider: • The view of the overlapped credit union(s); PO 00000 Frm 00028 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 • Whether the overlap is incidental in nature—the group of persons in question is so small as to have no material effect on the original credit union; • Whether there is limited participation by members or employees of the group in the original credit union after the expiration of a reasonable period of time; • Whether the original credit union fails to provide requested service; • Financial effect on the overlapped credit union; • The desires of the group(s); • The desire of the sponsor organization; and • The best interests of the affected group and the credit union members involved. Generally, if the overlapped credit union does not object, and NCUA determines that there is no safety and soundness problem, the overlap will be permitted. Potential overlaps of a federally insured state credit union’s field of membership by a federal credit union will generally be analyzed in the same way as if two federal credit unions were involved. Where a federally insured state credit union’s field of membership is broadly stated, NCUA will exclude its field of membership from any overlap protection. NCUA will permit multiple common bond federal credit unions to overlap community charters without performing an overlap analysis. IV.E. Overlap Issues as a Result of Organizational Restructuring A federal credit union’s field of membership will always be governed by the field of membership descriptions contained in Section 5 of its charter. Where a sponsor organization expands its operations internally, by acquisition or otherwise, the credit union may serve these new entrants to its field of membership if they are part of any select group listed in Section 5. Where acquisitions are made which add a new subsidiary, the group cannot be served until the subsidiary is included in the field of membership through a housekeeping amendment. A federal credit union’s field of membership will always be governed by the field of membership descriptions contained in Section 5 of its charter. Where a sponsor organization expands its operations internally, by acquisition or otherwise, the credit union may serve these new entrants to its field of membership if they are part of any select group listed in Section 5. Where acquisitions are made which add a new subsidiary, the group cannot be served until the subsidiary is included in the field of membership through a housekeeping amendment. Overlaps may occur as a result of restructuring or merger of the parent organization. When such overlaps occur, each credit union must request a field of membership amendment to reflect the new groups each wishes to serve. The credit union can continue to serve any current group in its field of membership that is acquiring a new group or has been acquired by a new group. E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations The new group cannot be served by the credit union until the field of membership amendment is approved by NCUA. Credit unions affected by organizational restructuring or merger should attempt to resolve overlap issues among themselves. Unless an agreement is reached limiting the overlap resulting from the corporate restructuring, NCUA will permit a complete overlap of the credit unions’ fields of membership. When two groups merge, or one group is acquired by the other, and each is in the field of membership of a credit union, both (or all affected) credit unions can serve the resulting merged or acquired group, subject to any existing geographic limitation and without regard to any overlap provisions. This is accomplished through a housekeeping amendment. Credit unions must submit to NCUA documentation explaining the restructuring and provide information regarding the new organizational structure. asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES IV.E.3—Exclusionary Clauses An exclusionary clause is a limitation precluding the credit union from serving the primary members of a portion of a group otherwise included in its field of membership. NCUA no longer grants exclusionary clauses. Those granted prior to the adoption of this new Chartering and Field of Membership Manual will remain in effect unless the credit unions agree to remove them or one of the affected credit unions submits a housekeeping amendment to have it removed. IV.F—Charter Conversion A multiple common bond federal credit union may apply to convert to a community charter provided the field of membership requirements of the community charter are met. Groups within the existing charter which cannot qualify in the new charter cannot be served except for members of record, or groups or communities obtained in an emergency merger or P&A. A credit union must notify all groups that will be removed from the field of membership as a result of conversion. Members of record can continue to be served. Also, in order to support a case for a conversion, the applicant federal credit union may be required to develop a detailed business plan as specified in Chapter 2, Section V.A.3. A multiple common bond federal credit union may apply to convert to a single occupational or associational common bond charter provided the field of membership requirements of the new charter are met. Groups within the existing charter, which do not qualify in the new charter, cannot be served except for members of record, or groups or communities obtained in an emergency merger or P&A. A credit union must notify all groups that will be removed from the field of membership as a result of conversion. IV.G—Credit Union Requested Removal of Groups From the Field of Membership A credit union may request removal of a group from its field of membership for various reasons. The most common reasons for this type of amendment are: VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 • The group is within the field of membership of two credit unions and one wishes to discontinue service; • The federal credit union cannot continue to provide adequate service to the group; • The group has ceased to exist; • The group does not respond to repeated requests to contact the credit union or refuses to provide needed support; • The group initiates action to be removed from the field of membership; or • The federal credit union wishes to convert to a single common bond. When a federal credit union requests an amendment to remove a group from its field of membership, the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director will determine why the credit union desires to remove the group. If the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director concurs with the request, membership will continue for those who are already members under the ‘‘once a member, always a member’’ provision of the Federal Credit Union Act. IV.H—NCUA Supervisory Action To Remove Groups From the Field of Membership NCUA has in place quality control processes that protect the integrity of its field of membership requirements. As part of this obligation, NCUA’s Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access will randomly select groups added through NCUA’s Field of Membership Internet Application (FOMIA) system for quality assurance reviews even if the expansion application meets all the conditions for approval. Each FCU is responsible for obtaining certain documentation when seeking to add groups to its field of membership through FOMIA. In addition, as indicated in the FOMIA User Instruction Guide, available on NCUA’s Web site, an FCU must permanently retain the documentation from the select group requesting service and the Confirmation Certificate generated at the time the FOMIA request is submitted to NCUA. As part of the quality assurance process, the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access reserves the right to request this documentation at any time. If the FCU fails to provide this documentation when the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access requests it, the director of the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access may consider removing the group from the FCU’s field of membership and restricting the FCU from using the FOMIA system for future requests. Specifically, as part of the FOMIA quality assurance process, the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access staff will do the following: 1. Within 10 days of receiving an application selected for a quality assurance review, notify the FCU of the documentation the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access requires. The FCU will have 15 days to provide the necessary documentation. the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access will respond to the FCU with a determination on the quality assurance review of the association within 15 days of receiving the requested information; PO 00000 Frm 00029 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 88439 2. After receiving the additional documentation, if any concerns remain outstanding, the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access will again correspond with the FCU and provide a 15day time frame for correcting the concern. the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access will respond to the FCU with a determination on the quality assurance review of the association within 15 days of receiving the requested information; and 3. If the FCU does not provide the requested documentation, or cannot correct the concern, the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director will deny the application and notify the credit union of its appeal rights. IV.I—NCUA Investigation of Potential Field of Membership Violations NCUA’s Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access is responsible for investigating field of membership complaints from the public, and matters referred to it from the field. It also pursues corrective action as needed for FCUs with confirmed field of membership violations. Although circumstances can vary with each case, the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access will generally adhere to the following process for investigating and addressing potential field of membership violations: 1. Initially correspond with management to outline concerns and request clarifying information within 60 days. the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access will also provide context as to the source of NCUA’s concerns, such as the discovery of new information about a particular group or an examination finding brought to the attention of the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access; 2. If the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access does not receive the requested information within 60 days, it will notify the FCU and again request the required information be provided within 30 days; 3. After receiving the additional documentation, if any concerns remain outstanding, the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access will again correspond with the FCU to provide a 60-day time frame for addressing the concern; and 4. If the FCU is unable to correct the concern, and after consultation with the Office of General Counsel and the appropriate Regional Office or Office of National Examinations and Supervision Director, and in accordance with agency guidelines for administrative actions, the Director of the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access will remove the group from the FCU’s field of membership pursuant to authority delegated by the NCUA Board. Removal of a group is treated the same as an initial denial under the Chartering Manual. In any adverse final determination on removal under the above delegations, the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access will notify the FCU of its appeal rights. NCUA considers the removal of an association from an FCU’s field of membership as an action of last resort. If a group is removed, the FCU can no longer add new members from the group, but can E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 88440 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES continue serving those who are already members of the FCU under the ‘‘once a member, always a member’’ provision of the Federal Credit Union Act. Also, if the group subsequently qualifies due to changes to the group itself, management can submit a new application at that time. IV.J—Other Persons Eligible for Credit Union Membership A number of persons, by virtue of their close relationship to a common bond group, may be included, at the charter applicant’s option, in the field of membership. These include the following: • Spouses of persons who died while within the field of membership of this credit union; • Employees of this credit union; • Persons retired as pensioners or annuitants from the above employment; • Volunteers; • Members of the immediate family or household; • Honorably discharged veterans who served in any of the Armed Services of the United States in this charter; • Organizations of such persons; and • Corporate or other legal entities in this charter. Immediate family is defined as spouse, child, sibling, parent, grandparent, or grandchild. This includes stepparents, stepchildren, stepsiblings, and adoptive relationships. Household is defined as persons living in the same residence maintaining a single economic unit. Membership eligibility is extended only to individuals who are members of an ‘‘immediate family or household’’ of a credit union member. It is not necessary for the primary member to join the credit union in order for the immediate family or household member of the primary member to join, provided the immediate family or household clause is included in the field of membership. However, it is necessary for the immediate family member or household member to first join in order for that person’s immediate family member or household member to join the credit union. A credit union can adopt a more restrictive definition of immediate family or household. Volunteers, by virtue of their close relationship with a sponsor group, may be included. Examples include volunteers working at a hospital or church. Under the Federal Credit Union Act, once a person becomes a member of the credit union, such person may remain a member of the credit union until the person chooses to withdraw or is expelled from the membership of the credit union. This is commonly referred to as ‘‘once a member, always a member.’’ The ‘‘once a member, always a member’’ provision does not prevent a credit union from restricting services to members who are no longer within the field of membership V—Community Charter Requirements V.A.1—General There are two types of community charters. One is based on a single, geographically welldefined local community or neighborhood; VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 the other is a rural district. More than one credit union may serve the same community. NCUA recognizes four types of affinity on which both a community charter and a rural district can be based—persons who live in, worship in, attend school in, or work in the community or rural district. Businesses and other legal entities within the community boundaries or rural district may also qualify for membership. NCUA has established the following requirements for community charters: • The geographic area’s boundaries must be clearly defined; and • The area is a well-defined local community or a rural district. V.A.2—Definition of Well-Defined Local Community and Rural District In addition to the documentation requirements in Chapter 1 to charter a credit union, a community credit union applicant must provide additional documentation addressing the proposed area to be served and community service policies. An applicant has the burden of demonstrating to NCUA that the proposed community area meets the statutory requirements of being: (1) Well-defined, and (2) a local community or rural district. ‘‘Well-defined’’ means the proposed area has specific geographic boundaries. Geographic boundaries may include a city, township, county (single, multiple, or portions of a county) or a political equivalent, school district, or a clearly identifiable neighborhood. Although state boundaries are well-defined areas, states themselves do not meet the requirement that the proposed area be a local community. The well-defined local community requirement is met if: • Single Political Jurisdiction—The area to be served is in a recognized Single Political Jurisdiction, i.e., a city, county, or their political equivalent, or any individual portion thereof. • Statistical Area—The area is a designated Core Based Statistical Area or allowing a portion thereof, or in the case of a Core Based Statistical Area with Metropolitan Divisions, the area is a Metropolitan Division or is a portion thereof; or • The area is a designated a Combined Statistical Area or a portion thereof; AND • The Core Based Statistical Area, Metropolitan Division or Combined Statistical Area, or the portion thereof, must have a population of 2.5 million or less people. • Compelling Evidence of Interaction or Common Interests—In lieu of a statistical area as defined above, this option applies only to the addition of an immediately adjacent area falling outside a Single Political Jurisdiction, Core Based Statistical Area or Combined Statistical Area, and thus may demonstrate a sufficient level of interaction to qualify as a local community. For these situations, applicants have the option of submitting a narrative to NCUA to address how the residents meet the requirements for being a local community. The Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access will issue additional guidance to help a credit union develop its written narrative. PO 00000 Frm 00030 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 NCUA will base its decision on a consideration of the following factors with respect to the proposed service area in its entirety: Economic Hub: Evidence indicates residents commonly travel to a geographically compact locale within the area for work and major commerce needs. Traffic flows, the presence of common or related industries, or unified economic planning demonstrate how the locales have economic interdependence. Population Center: Area has a dominant county or municipality with a significant portion of the area’s population and evidence exists to support the relevance of the population center to all residents within the area. Isolated Areas: Areas geographically isolated, such as by mountains, bodies of water, or other prominent features. Quasi-Governmental Agencies: A quasigovernmental agency, such as a regional planning commission, predominantly covers the proposed service area and derives its leadership from the area to advance meaningful objectives advancing the residents’ common interests in economic development and/or improving quality of life. Success of agency in meeting its mission depends upon collaboration from throughout the area. Government Designations: A division of a federal or state agency specifically designates the proposed service area as its area of coverage or as a target area for specific programs. Shared Public Services/Facilities: Formal agreements exist that provide for a common need shared by all of the residents, such as common police or fire protection, or public utilities. Colleges and Universities: Evidence exists to demonstrate the common relevance of an institution or institutions to the entire area, such as unique educational initiatives to support economic objectives benefiting all residents and/or partnerships with local businesses or high schools. An area of any geographic size qualifies as a Rural District if: • The proposed district has well-defined, contiguous geographic boundaries; • The total population of the proposed district does not exceed 1,000,000. • Either more than 50% of the proposed district’s population resides in census blocks or other geographic units that are designated as rural by either the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau or the United States Census Bureau, OR the district has a population density of 100 persons or fewer per square mile; and • The boundaries of the well-defined rural district do not exceed the outer boundaries of the states that are immediately contiguous to the state in which the credit union maintains its headquarters (i.e., not to exceed the outer perimeter of the layer of states immediately surrounding the headquarters state). The affinity groups that apply to welldefined local communities, found in Chapter 2, Section V.G., also apply to Rural Districts. The OMB definitions of Core Based Statistical Area and Metropolitan Division, as E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations well as that of Combined Statistical Area (found at https://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/ bulletins_default) are incorporated herein by reference. Access to these definitions is also available through NCUA’s Web site at http:// www.ncua.gov. The requirements in Chapter 2, Sections V.A.4 through V.G. also apply to a credit union that serves a rural district. asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES V.A.3—Previously Approved Communities If NCUA has determined that a specific geographic area is a well-defined local community, then a new applicant need not reestablish that fact as part of its application to serve the exact area. The new applicant must, however, note NCUA’s previous determination as part of its overall application. An applicant applying for an area that is not exactly the same as a previously approved well defined local community must comply with the current criteria in place for determining a welldefined local community. V.A. Business Plan Requirements for a Community Credit Union A community credit union is frequently more susceptible to competition from other local financial institutions and generally does not have substantial support from any single sponsoring company or association. As a result, a community credit union will often encounter financial and operational factors that differ from an occupational or associational charter. Its diverse membership may require special marketing programs targeted to different segments of the community. For example, the lack of payroll deduction creates special challenges in the development and promotion of savings programs and in the collection of loans. Accordingly, to support an application for a community charter, an applicant Federal credit union must develop a business plan incorporating the following data: • Pro forma financial statements for a minimum of 24 months after the proposed conversion, including the underlying assumptions and rationale for projected member, share, loan, and asset growth; • Anticipated financial impact on the credit union, including the need for additional employees and fixed assets, and the associated costs; • A description of the current and proposed office/branch structure, including a general description of the location(s); parking availability, public transportation availability, drive-through service, lobby capacity, or any other service feature illustrating community access; • A marketing plan addressing how the community will be served for the 24-month period after the proposed conversion to a community charter, including detailing: How the credit union will implement its business plan; the unique needs of the various demographic groups in the proposed community; how the credit union will market to each group, particularly underserved groups; which communitybased organizations the credit union will target in its outreach efforts; the credit union’s marketing budget projections dedicating greater resources to reaching new VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 members; and the credit union’s timetable for implementation, not just a calendar of events; • Details, terms and conditions of the credit union’s financial products, programs, and services to be provided to the entire community; and • Maps showing the current and proposed service facilities, ATMs, political boundaries, major roads, and other pertinent information. An existing Federal credit union may apply to convert to a community charter. Groups currently in the credit union’s field of membership, but outside the new community credit union’s boundaries, may not be included in the new community charter. Therefore, the credit union must notify groups that will be removed from the field of membership as a result of the conversion. Members of record can continue to be served. Before approval of an application to convert to a community credit union, NCUA must be satisfied that the credit union will be viable and capable of providing services to its members. Community credit unions will be expected to regularly review and to follow, to the fullest extent economically possible, the marketing and business plans submitted with their applications. Additionally, NCUA will follow-up with an FCU every year for three years after the FCU has been granted a new or expanded community charter, and at any other intervals NCUA believes appropriate, to determine if the FCU is satisfying the terms of its marketing and business plans. An FCU failing to satisfy those terms will be subject to supervisory action. As part of this review process, the regional office or Office of National Examinations and Supervision Director will report to the NCUA Board instances where an FCU is failing to satisfy the terms of its marketing and business plan and indicate what supervisory actions the region or ONES intends to take. V.A.5—Community Boundaries The geographic boundaries of a community Federal credit union are the areas defined in its charter. The boundaries can usually be defined using political borders, streets, rivers, railroad tracks, or other static geographical feature. A community that is a recognized legal entity may be stated in the field of membership— for example, ‘‘Gus Township, Texas,’’ ‘‘Isabella City, Georgia,’’ or ‘‘Fairfax County, Virginia.’’ A community that is an entire United States Census Bureau designated Core Based Statistical Area or Combined Statistical Area may be stated in the field of membership— for example, ‘‘Fort Wayne, IN Metropolitan Statistical Area,’’ ‘‘Albany, GA Metropolitan Statistical Area,’’ or ‘‘Syracuse-Auburn, NY Combined Statistical Area.’’ V.A.6—Special Community Charters A community field of membership may include persons who work or attend school in a particular industrial park, shopping mall, office building or complex, or similar development. The proposed field of membership must have clearly defined geographic boundaries. PO 00000 Frm 00031 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 88441 V.A. Ample Community Fields of Membership A community charter does not have to include all four affinities (i.e., live, work, worship, or attend school in a community). Some examples of community fields of membership are: • Persons who live, work, worship, or attend school in, and businesses located in the area of Johnson City, Tennessee, bounded by Fern Street on the north, Long Street on the east, Fourth Street on the south, and Elm Avenue on the west; • Persons who live or work in Green County, Maine; • Persons who live, worship, work (or regularly conduct business in), or attend school on the University of Dayton campus, in Dayton, Ohio; • Persons who work for businesses located in Clifton Country Mall, in Clifton Park, New York; • Persons who live, work, or worship in the Binghamton, New York, Core Based Statistical Area, consisting of Broome and Tioga Counties, New York (a qualifying Core Based Statistical Area in its entirety); • Persons who live, work, worship, or attend school in the portion of the Oklahoma City, OK Metropolitan Statistical Area that includes Canadian and Oklahoma counties, Oklahoma (two contiguous counties in a portion of a qualifying Core Based Statistical Area that has seven counties in total); or • Persons who live, work, worship, or attend school in Uinta County or Lincoln County, Wyoming, a rural district. Some examples of insufficiently defined local communities, neighborhoods, or rural districts are: • Persons who live or work within and businesses located within a ten-mile radius of Washington, DC (not a permitted community); • Persons who live or work in the industrial section of New York, New York. (not well- defined nor a permitted community); or • Persons who live or work in the greater Boston area. (not well-defined). Some examples of unacceptable local communities, neighborhoods, or rural districts are: • Persons who live or work in the State of California. (not a permitted community). Persons who live in the first congressional district of Florida. (not a permitted community). V.B—Field of Membership Amendments A community credit union may amend its field of membership by adding additional affinities or removing exclusionary clauses. This can be accomplished with a housekeeping amendment. A community credit union also may expand its geographic boundaries. Persons who live, work, worship, or attend school within the proposed well-defined local community, neighborhood or rural district must have common interests and/or interact. The credit union must follow the requirements of Section V.A.4 of this chapter. A community credit union that is based on a Single Political Jurisdiction, a Statistical Area (e.g., Core Based Statistical Area or E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 88442 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations Combined Statistical Area) or a rural district may expand its geographic boundaries to add a bordering area, provided the area is well defined and the credit union demonstrates that persons who live, work, worship, or attend school within the proposed expanded community (i.e., on both sides of the boundary separating the existing community and the bordering area) have common interests and/or interact. Such a credit union applying to expand its geographic boundaries to add a bordering area must follow a streamlined version of the business plan requirements of Section V.A.4 of this chapter and the expanded community would be subject to the corresponding population limit—2.5 million in the case of a Single Political Jurisdiction, or a Statistical Area and 1 million in the case of a rural district. The streamlined business plan requirements for adding a bordering area are: • Anticipated marginal financial impact on the credit union of adding the proposed bordering area, including the need for additional employees and fixed assets, and the associated costs; • A description of the current and, if applicable, proposed office/branch structure specific to serving the proposed bordering area; • A marketing plan addressing how the new community will be served for the 24month period after the proposed expansion of a community charter, including detailing how the credit union will address the unique needs of any demographic groups in the proposed bordering community not presently served by the credit union and how the credit union will market to any new groups; and • Details, terms and conditions of any new financial products, programs, and services to be introduced as part of this expansion. V.C—NCUA Procedures for Amending the Field of Membership asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES V.C.1—General All requests for approval to amend a community credit union’s charter must be submitted to the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director. If a decision cannot be made within a reasonable period of time, the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director will notify the credit union. V.C.2—NCUA’s Decision The financial and operational condition of the requesting credit union will be considered in every instance. The economic advisability of expanding the field of membership of a credit union with financial or operational problems must be carefully considered. In most cases, field of membership amendments will only be approved for credit unions that are operating satisfactorily. Generally, if a federal credit union is having difficulty providing service to its current membership, or is experiencing financial or other operational problems, it may have more difficulty serving an expanded field of membership. Occasionally, however, an expanded field of membership may provide the basis for reversing current financial problems. In such cases, an amendment to expand the field of VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 membership may be granted notwithstanding the credit union’s financial or operational problems. The applicant credit union must clearly establish that the expanded field of membership is in the best interest of the members and will not increase the risk to the NCUSIF. V.C.3—NCUA Approval If the requested amendment is approved by NCUA, the credit union will be issued an amendment to Section 5 of its charter. V.C.4—NCUA Disapproval When NCUA disapproves any application to amend the field of membership, in whole or in part, under this chapter, the applicant will be informed in writing of the: • Specific reasons for the action; • If appropriate, options or suggestions that could be considered for gaining approval; and • Appeal procedures. V.C.5—Appeal of Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director Decision If a field of membership expansion request, merger, or spin-off is denied by staff, the federal credit union may appeal the decision to the NCUA Board. An appeal must be sent to the NCUA Board Secretary within 60 days of the date of denial and must be clearly identified as such and address the specific reason(s) the federal credit union disagrees with the denial. A copy of the appeal must be sent to the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access or, as applicable, the appropriate regional office or Office of National Examinations and Supervision Director. NCUA central office staff will make an independent review of the facts and present the appeal to the NCUA Board with a recommendation. Before appealing, the credit union may, within 30 days of the denial, provide supplemental information to the office rendering the initial decision for reconsideration. A reconsideration will contain new and material evidence addressing the reasons for the initial denial. The office rendering the initial decision will have 30 days from the date of the receipt of the request for reconsideration to make a final decision. If the request is again denied, the applicant may proceed with the appeal process within 60 days of the date of the last denial. A second request for reconsideration will be treated as an appeal to the NCUA Board. V. D—Mergers, Purchase and Assumptions, and Spin-Offs There are three additional ways a community federal credit union can expand its field of membership: • By taking in the field of membership of another credit union through a merger; • By taking in the field of membership through a purchase and assumption (P&A); or • By taking a portion of another credit union’s field of membership through a spinoff. V.D. Mergers Generally, the requirements applicable to field of membership expansions apply to PO 00000 Frm 00032 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 mergers where the continuing credit union is a community federal charter. Where both credit unions are community charters, the continuing credit union must meet the criteria for expanding the community boundaries. A community credit union cannot merge into a single occupational/associational, or multiple common bond credit union, except in an emergency merger. However, a single occupational or associational, or multiple common bond credit union can merge into a community charter as long as the merging credit union has a service facility within the community boundaries or a majority of the merging credit union’s field of membership would qualify for membership in the community charter. While a community charter may take in an occupational, associational, or multiple common bond credit union in a merger, it will remain a community charter. Groups within the merging credit union’s field of membership located outside of the community boundaries may not continue to be served. The merging credit union must notify groups that will be removed from the field of membership as a result of the merger. However, the credit union may continue to serve members of record. Where a state-chartered credit union is merging into a community federal credit union, the continuing federal credit union’s field of membership will be worded in accordance with NCUA policy. Any subsequent field of membership expansions must comply with applicable amendment procedures. Mergers must be approved by the NCUA regional director or Office of National Examinations and Supervision Director where the continuing credit union is headquartered, with the concurrence of the regional director or Office of National Examinations and Supervision Director of the merging credit union, and, as applicable, the state regulators. V.D. Emergency Mergers An emergency merger may be approved by NCUA without regard to common bond or other legal constraints. An emergency merger involves NCUA’s direct intervention and approval. The credit union to be merged must either be insolvent or in danger of insolvency, as defined in the Glossary, and NCUA must determine that: • An emergency requiring expeditious action exists; • Other alternatives are not reasonably available; and • The public interest would best be served by approving the merger. If not corrected, conditions that could lead to insolvency include, but are not limited to: • Abandonment by management; • Loss of sponsor; • Serious and persistent record-keeping problems; or • Serious and persistent operational concerns. In an emergency merger situation, NCUA will take an active role in finding a suitable merger partner (continuing credit union). NCUA is primarily concerned that the continuing credit union has the financial E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES strength and management expertise to absorb the troubled credit union without adversely affecting its own financial condition and stability. As a stipulated condition to an emergency merger, the field of membership of the merging credit union may be transferred intact to the continuing federal credit union without regard to any field of membership restrictions, including the service facility requirement. Under this authority, a federal credit union may take in any dissimilar field of membership. Even though the merging credit union is a single common bond credit union or multiple common bond credit union or community credit union, the continuing credit union will remain a community charter. Future community expansions will be based on the continuing credit union’s original community area. Emergency mergers involving federally insured credit unions in different NCUA regions must be approved by the regional director or Office of National Examinations and Supervision Director where the continuing credit union is headquartered, with the concurrence of the regional director or Office of National Examinations and Supervision Director of the merging credit union and, as applicable, the state regulators. V.D. Purchase and Assumption (P&A) Another alternative for acquiring the field of membership of a failing credit union is through a consolidation known as a P&A. Generally, the requirements applicable to community expansions found in this chapter apply to purchase and assumptions where the purchasing credit union is a federal charter. A P&A has limited application because, in most instances, the failing credit union must be placed into involuntary liquidation. However, in the few instances where a P&A may occur, the assuming federal credit union, as with emergency mergers, may acquire the entire field of membership if the emergency criteria are satisfied. In a P&A processed under the emergency criteria, specified loans, shares, and certain other designated assets and liabilities may also be acquired without regard to field of membership restrictions and without changing the character of the continuing federal credit union for purposes of future field of membership amendments. If the P&A does not meet the emergency criteria, then only members of record can be obtained unless they otherwise qualify for membership in the community charter. P&As involving federally insured credit unions in different NCUA regions must be approved by the regional director or Office of National Examinations and Supervision Director where the continuing credit union is headquartered, with the concurrence of the regional director or Office of National Examinations and Supervision Director of the purchased and/or assumed credit union and, as applicable, the state regulators. V.D.4—Spin-Offs A spin-off occurs when, by agreement of the parties, a portion of the field of membership, assets, liabilities, shares, and VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 capital of a credit union are transferred to a new or existing credit union. A spin-off is unique in that usually one credit union has a field of membership expansion and the other loses a portion of its field of membership. All field of membership requirements apply regardless of whether the spun-off group goes to a new or existing federal charter. The request for approval of a spin-off must be supported with a plan that addresses, at a minimum: • Why the spin-off is being requested; • What part of the field of membership is to be spun off; • Whether the field of membership requirements are met; • Which assets, liabilities, shares, and capital are to be transferred; • The financial impact the spin-off will have on the affected credit unions; • The ability of the acquiring credit union to effectively serve the new members; • The proposed spin-off date; and • Disclosure to the members of the requirements set forth above. The spin-off request must also include current financial statements from the affected credit unions and the proposed voting ballot. For federal credit unions spinning off a portion of the community, membership notice and voting requirements and procedures are the same as for mergers (see part 708 of the NCUA Rules and Regulations), except that only the members directly affected by the spin-off—those whose shares are to be transferred—are permitted to vote. Members whose shares are not being transferred will not be afforded the opportunity to vote. All members of the group to be spun off (whether they voted in favor, against, or not at all) will be transferred if the spin-off is approved by the voting membership. Voting requirements for federally insured state credit unions are governed by state law. V.E—Overlaps V.E.1—General Generally, an overlap exists when a group of persons is eligible for membership in two or more credit unions. NCUA will permit community credit unions to overlap any other charters without performing an overlap analysis. V.E. Exclusionary Clauses An exclusionary clause is a limitation precluding the credit union from serving the primary members of a portion of a group or community otherwise included in its field of membership. NCUA no longer grants exclusionary clauses. Those granted prior to the adoption of this new Chartering and Field of Membership Manual will remain in effect unless the credit unions agree to remove them or one of the affected credit unions submits a housekeeping amendment to have it removed. V.F—Charter Conversions A community federal credit union may convert to a single occupational or associational, or multiple common bond PO 00000 Frm 00033 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 88443 credit union. The converting credit union must meet all occupational, associational, and multiple common bond requirements, as applicable. The converting credit union may continue to serve members of record of the prior field of membership as of the date of the conversion, and any groups or communities obtained in an emergency merger or P&A. A change to the credit union’s field of membership and designated common bond will be necessary. A community credit union may convert to serve a new geographical area provided the field of membership requirements of V.A.3 of this chapter are met. Members of record of the original community can continue to be served. V.G—Other Persons With a Relationship to the Community A number of persons who have a close relationship to the community may be included, at the charter applicant’s option, in the field of membership. These include the following: • Spouses of persons who died while within the field of membership of this credit union; • Employees of this credit union; • Volunteers in the community; • Members of the immediate family or household; and • Organizations of such persons Immediate family is defined as spouse, child, sibling, parent, grandparent, or grandchild. This includes stepparents, stepchildren, stepsiblings, and adoptive relationships. Household is defined as persons living in the same residence maintaining a single economic unit. Membership eligibility is extended only to individuals who are members of an ‘‘immediate family or household’’ of a credit union member. It is not necessary for the primary member to join the credit union in order for the immediate family or household member of the primary member to join, provided the immediate family or household clause is included in the field of membership. However, it is necessary for the immediate family member or household member to first join in order for that person’s immediate family member or household member to join the credit union. A credit union can adopt a more restrictive definition of immediate family or household. Under the Federal Credit Union Act, once a person becomes a member of the credit union, such person may remain a member of the credit union until the person chooses to withdraw or is expelled from the membership of the credit union. This is commonly referred to as ‘‘once a member, always a member.’’ The ‘‘once a member, always a member’’ provision does not prevent a credit union from restricting services to members who are no longer within the field of membership. Chapter 3—Low-Income Credit Unions and Credit Unions Serving Underserved Areas I—Introduction One of the primary reasons for the creation of federal credit unions is to make credit available to people of modest means for E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 88444 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations provident and productive purposes. To help NCUA fulfill this mission, the agency has established special operational policies for federal credit unions that serve low-income groups and underserved areas. The policies provide a greater degree of flexibility that will enhance and invigorate capital infusion into low-income groups, low-income communities, and underserved areas. These unique policies are necessary to provide credit unions serving low-income groups with financial stability and potential for controlled growth and to encourage the formation of new charters as well as the delivery of credit union services in lowincome communities. II—Low-Income Credit Union asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES II.A—Defined A credit union serving predominantly lowincome members may be designated as a lowincome credit union. Section 701.34 of NCUA’s Rules and Regulations defines the term ‘‘low- income members’’ as those members: • Who make less than 80 percent of the average for all wage earners as established by the Bureau of Labor Statistics; or • Whose median family income falls at or below 80 percent of the median family income for the nation as established by the Census Bureau. The term ‘‘low-income members’’ also includes members who are full-time or parttime students in a college, university, high school, or vocational school. To obtain a low-income designation from NCUA, an existing credit union must establish that a majority of its members meet the low-income definition. An existing community credit union that serves a geographic area where a majority of residents meet the annual income standard is presumed to be serving predominantly lowincome members. A low-income designation for a new credit union charter may be based on a majority of the potential membership. II.B—Special Programs A credit union with a low-income designation has greater flexibility in accepting nonmember deposits insured by the NCUSIF, are exempt from the aggregate loan limit on business loans, and may offer secondary capital accounts to strengthen its capital base. It also may participate in special funding programs such as the Community Development Revolving Loan Program for Credit Unions (CDRLP) if it is involved in the stimulation of economic development and community revitalization efforts. The CDRLP provides both loans and grants for technical assistance to low-income credit unions. The requirements for participation in the revolving loan program are in part 705 of the NCUA Rules and Regulations. Only operating credit unions are eligible for participation in this program. II.C—Low-Income Documentation A federal credit union charter applicant or existing credit union wishing to receive a low- income designation should forward a separate request for the designation to the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director, along with appropriate documentation supporting the request. VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 For community charter applicants, the supporting material should include the median family income or annual wage figures for the community to be served. If this information is unavailable, the applicant should identify the individual zip codes or census tracts that comprise the community and NCUA will assist in obtaining the necessary demographic data. Similarly, if single occupational or associational or multiple common bond charter applicants cannot supply income data on its potential members, they should provide the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director with a list which includes the number of potential members, sorted by their residential zip codes, and NCUA will assist in obtaining the necessary demographic data. An existing credit union can perform a loan or membership survey to determine if the credit union is primarily serving lowincome members. II.D—Third-Party Assistance A low-income federal credit union charter applicant may contract with a third party to assist in the chartering and low-income designation process. If the charter is granted, a low-income credit union may contract with a third party to provide necessary management services. Such contracts should not exceed the duration of one year subject to renewal. II.E—Special Rules for Low-Income Federal Credit Unions In recognition of the unique efforts needed to help make credit union service available to low-income groups, NCUA has adopted special rules that pertain to low-income credit union charters, as well as field of membership additions for low-income credit unions. These special rules provide additional latitude to enable underserved, low-income individuals to gain access to credit union service. NCUA permits credit union chartering and field of membership amendments based on associational groups formed for the sole purpose of making credit union service available to low- income persons. The association must be defined so that all of its members will meet the low- income definition of Section 701.34 of the NCUA Rules and Regulations. Any multiple common bond credit union can add lowincome associations to their fields of membership. A low-income designated community federal credit union has additional latitude in serving persons who are affiliated with the community. In addition to serving members who live, work, worship, or attend school in the community, a low-income community federal credit union may also serve persons who participate in programs to alleviate poverty or distress, or who participate in associations headquartered in the community. Examples of a low-income designated community and an associational-based lowincome federal credit union are as follows: • Persons who live in [the target area]; persons who work, worship, attend school, or participate in associations headquartered in PO 00000 Frm 00034 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 [the target area]; persons participating in programs to alleviate poverty or distress which are located in [the target area]; incorporated and unincorporated organizations located in [the target area] or maintaining a facility in [the target area]; and organizations of such persons. • Members of the Canarsie Economic Assistance League, in Brooklyn, NY, an association whose members all meet the lowincome definition of Section 701.34 of the NCUA Rules and Regulations. III—Service to Underserved Communities III.A—General A multiple common bond federal credit union may include in its field of membership, without regard to location, an ‘‘underserved area’’ as defined by the Federal Credit Union Act. 12 U.S.C. 1759(c)(2). The addition of an ‘‘underserved area’’ will not change the charter type of the multiple common bond federal credit union. More than one multiple common-bond federal credit union can serve the same ‘‘underserved area,’’ provided each credit union is approved as provided below. By adding an ‘‘underserved area,’’ a multiple common bond federal credit union does not become eligible to receive the benefits afforded to low-income designated credit unions, such as expanded use of nonmember deposits and access to the Community Development Revolving Loan Program for Credit Unions. III.B—‘‘Underserved Area’’ Defined The Federal Credit Union Act defines an ‘‘underserved area’’ as (1) a ‘‘local community, neighborhood, or rural district’’ that (2) meets the definition of an ‘‘investment area’’ under section 103(16) of the Community Development Banking and Financial Institutions Act of 1994 (‘‘CDFI’’), 12 U.S.C. 4702(16), and (3) is ‘‘underserved by other depository institutions’’ based on data of the NCUA Board and the federal banking agencies. III.B.1—Local Community To be eligible for approval as ‘‘underserved,’’ a proposed area must be a well-defined local community, neighborhood, or rural district as defined in Chapter 2, sections V.A.1. and V.A.2. of this Manual. III.B.2—Investment Area To be approved as an ‘‘underserved area,’’ the proposed area must meet the CDFI definition of an ‘‘investment area.’’ Id. § 4702(16). A proposed area that, at the time the credit union applies, is designated in its entirety as an Empowerment Zone or Enterprise Community (id. § 1391) automatically qualifies as an ‘‘investment area’’; no further criteria of an ‘‘investment area’’ must be met. Id. § 4702(16)(B). A proposed area that is not designated as such must qualify as an ‘‘investment area’’ under ‘‘the objective criteria of economic distress’’ developed by the CDFI Fund (‘‘distress criteria’’) based on current decennial U.S. Census data, and also must have ‘‘significant unmet needs’’ for loans and financial services that credit unions are authorized to offer to their members. Id. § 4702(16)(A). E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations III.B.2. Economic Distress Criteria Geographic Unit(s) By Proposed Area’s Location. The location of a proposed ‘‘underserved area’’ either within or outside of a Metropolitan Statistical Area corresponding to the most recent completed decennial census published by the U.S. Bureau of the Census (‘‘decennial Census’’) determines the geographic unit(s) that apply to determine whether the area meets the distress criteria. Within a Metropolitan Statistical Area. For a proposed area located, in whole or in part, within a Metropolitan Statistical Area, the permissible geographic units (‘‘Metro units’’) for implementing the economic distress criteria are: (i) A census tract; (ii) a block group; and (iii) an American Indian or Alaskan Native area. 12 CFR 1805.201(b)(3)(ii)(B) (2008). For ease of implementation, it is advisable to use a census tract as the proposed area’s Metro unit. Outside a Metropolitan Statistical Area. For a proposed area that is located entirely outside a Metropolitan Statistical Area, the permissible units (‘‘Non-Metro units’’) for implementing the economic distress criteria are: (i) A county or equivalent area; (ii) a minor civil division that is a unit of local government; (iii) an incorporated place; (iv) a census tract; (v) a block numbering area; (vi) a block group; and (vii) an American Indian or Alaskan Native area. Id. For ease of implementation, it is advisable to use either a census tract or county, as the case may be, as the proposed area’s Non-Metro unit. Proposed Area Consisting of a Single Metro Unit. A proposed area consisting of a single whole Metro unit (e.g., a single census tract located within a Metropolitan Statistical Area) must meet one of the following distress criteria, as reported by the most recent decennial Census: • Unemployment. The proposed area’s unemployment rate is at least 1.5 times the national average; or • Poverty. At least 20 percent (20%) of the proposed area’s population lives in poverty; or • Median Family Income. The proposed area’s Median Family Income (‘‘MFI’’) is at or below 80 percent (80%) of either the MFI of the corresponding Metropolitan Statistical Area, or of the national MFI for Metro Areas, whichever is greater; or • Other Criterion. Any other economic distress criterion the CDFI Fund may adopt in the future. Id. § 1805.201(b)(3)(ii)(D)(1), (2)(i) and (3) (2008). Proposed Area Consisting of a Single NonMetro Unit. A proposed area consisting of a single whole Non-Metro unit (e.g., a single county located outside a Metropolitan Statistical Area) must meet one of the following distress criteria, as reported by the most recent decennial Census: • Unemployment. The proposed area’s unemployment rate is at least 1.5 times the national average; or • Poverty. At least 20 percent (20%) of the proposed area’s population lives in poverty; or • Median Family Income. The proposed area’s MFI is at or below 80 percent (80%) VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 of either the corresponding state’s Non-Metro MFI or the national MFI for Non-Metro Areas, whichever is greater; or • Other Criterion. Any other economic distress criterion the CDFI Fund may adopt in the future. • Id. § 1805.201(b)(3)(ii)(D)(1), (2)(ii) and (3) (2008). Alternatively, a proposed area consisting of a single Non-Metro county (located outside a Metropolitan Statistical Area) may instead meet either of the following two criteria, as reported by the decennial Census: • County Population Loss. County’s population loss of at least 10 percent (10%) between the most recent and the preceding decennial Census; or • County Migration Loss. County’s net migration loss of at least 5 percent (5%) in the 5- year period preceding the most recent decennial Census. Id. § 1805.201(b)(3)(ii)(D)(4)–(5) (2008). Proposed Area Consisting of Multiple Contiguous Units. When a proposed area consists of either multiple contiguous Metro units (e.g., a group of adjoining census tracts) or multiple contiguous Non-Metro units (e.g., a group of adjoining counties), a population threshold applies when implementing the economic distress criteria. At least 85 percent (85%) of the area’s total population must reside within the units that are ‘‘distressed,’’ i.e., that meet one of the applicable economic distress criteria above, as reported by the decennial Census (Unemployment, Poverty and MFI for census tracts plus, for counties only, Population Loss and Migration Loss); the balance of the area’s population may reside in the non-‘‘distressed’’ tract(s). The population threshold is met, and the whole proposed area qualifies as ‘‘distressed,’’ when the ‘‘distressed’’ units represent at least 85 percent of the area’s total population. III.B.2.b—Proposed Area’s ‘‘Significant Unmet Needs’’ A proposed area that is ‘‘distressed’’ also must display ‘‘significant unmet needs’’ for loans or for one or more of the financial services credit unions are authorized to offer. To meet this criterion, the credit union must include within its Business Plan a section, one page in length, entitled ‘‘Significant Unmet Needs for Credit Union Services’’ (‘‘SUN section’’) that establishes the existence of such unmet needs by identifying the credit and depository needs of the community and detailing how the credit union plans to serve those needs. The credit union may choose which among the following ‘‘credit and depository needs’’ to address in the SUN section: loans, share draft accounts, savings accounts, check cashing, money orders, certified checks, automated teller machines, deposit taking, safe deposit box services, and similar services. The existence of each ‘‘credit and depository need’’ the credit union identifies and plans to serve must be supported by objective reasons and/or accompanying documentation derived from an identified, authoritative source of the credit union’s choice. Thirdparty documentation generally is the most compelling. PO 00000 Frm 00035 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 88445 III.B.3—Underserved by Other Depository Institutions A proposed area that meets the CDFI definition of an ‘‘investment area’’ (i.e., is ‘‘distressed’’ and has ‘‘significant unmet needs’’) must also be underserved by other insured depository institutions, including credit unions. 12 U.S.C. 1759(c)(2)(A)(ii). This statutory criterion is met when the concentration of depository institution facilities among the population of the proposed area’s non-‘‘distressed’’ tracts— which sets a benchmark level of adequate service—is greater than the concentration of facilities among the population of all of the proposed area’s census tracts combined. This establishes the area’s concentration of facilities ratio. If there are no non‘‘distressed’’ tracts within a proposed area, a non-‘‘distressed’’ census tract or larger geographic unit (e.g., city or county) of the credit union’s choice that adjoins the proposed area may be used to set the benchmark concentration ratio. Without regard to a proposed area’s location within or outside a Metropolitan Statistical Area, this criterion compares two ratios: the ratio of facilities to the population of the non- ‘‘distressed’’ tracts (the benchmark) versus the same facilities-topopulation ratio among all the tracts of the proposed area as a whole. If the benchmark ratio is greater than the ratio for the whole area, then the area is ‘‘underserved by other depository institutions,’’ and vice versa. When, as the result of an initial Concentration of Facilities ratio calculation, a proposed area does not qualify as ‘‘underserved by other depository institutions,’’ NCUA will exclude nondepository banks (e.g., trust companies) and non-community credit unions (i.e., those institutions unable to serve the general public) from the computation. For the purposes of this analysis, a multiple common bond credit union already serving the area as an underserved area is considered able to serve the general public and thus would not be excluded. With both of these exclusions, NCUA will recalculate the concentration of facilities ratio to determine whether, as a result, the proposed area qualifies as ‘‘underserved by other depository institutions.’’ As one alternative to the concentration of facilities ratio, a proposed area will qualify as ‘‘underserved by other depository institutions’’ if it is designated an ‘‘underserved county’’ by NCUA based on data produced by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (available at: http:// www.consumerfinance.gov/guidance/ #ruralunderserved). NCUA will make its list of ‘‘underserved counties’’ available on its Web site. As another alternative to the concentration of facilities ratio, a proposed area will qualify as ‘‘underserved by other depository institutions’’ if the credit seeking to serve it, using a metric of its own choosing, provided that it is based on NCUA or other Federal banking agency data, that establishes to NCUA that the proposed area is ‘‘underserved by other depository institutions.’’ E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 88446 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations III.C—NCUA Approval If NCUA approves the request to add an ‘‘underserved area,’’ the credit union will be issued an amendment to Section 5 of its charter. III.D—Approval to Serve an Already Approved ‘‘Underserved Area’’ Once a credit union is initially approved to serve an ‘‘underserved area,’’ other credit unions that subsequently apply may be approved to serve the same area. To be approved, the area must qualify as ‘‘underserved’’ at the time the new applicant applies. An applicant must demonstrate that the area continues to be ‘‘distressed’’, as provided above, only if a new decennial Census has been published since the date the area was last approved. In any case, the applicant must demonstrate that the area still has ‘‘significant unmet needs’’ for loans or credit union services (to qualify as an ‘‘investment area’’), and remains ‘‘underserved by other depository institutions’’ (to qualify as ‘‘underserved’’). III.E—Business Plan A federal credit union that desires to include an underserved community in its field of membership must first develop, and submit for approval, a business plan specifying how it will serve the community. In addition, the business plan must include a SUN section as provided in section III.B.2.b. above. The credit union will be expected to regularly review the business plan to determine if the community is being adequately served. The Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director may require periodic service status reports from a credit union about the ‘‘underserved area’’ to ensure that the needs of the community are being met, and must require such reports before NCUA allows a multiple common bond federal credit union to add an additional ‘‘underserved area.’’ asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES III.F—Service Facility Once an ‘‘underserved area’’ has been added to a federal credit union’s field of membership, the credit union must establish within two years, and maintain, an office or service facility in the community. A service facility is defined as a place where shares are accepted for members’ accounts, loan applications are accepted and loans are disbursed. By definition, a service facility includes a credit union-owned branch, a shared branch, a mobile branch, or an office operated on a regularly scheduled weekly basis or a credit union owned electronic facility that meets, at a minimum, the above requirements. This definition does not include an ATM or the credit union’s Internet Web site. IV—Appeal Procedures for Denial of Underserved Area IV.A—NCUA Disapproval When NCUA disapproves any application to add an ‘‘underserved area’’ in whole or in part, under this chapter, the applicant will be informed in writing of the: • Specific reasons for the action; • Options to consider, if appropriate, for gaining approval; and VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 • Appeal procedures. IV.B—Appeal of Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director Decision If the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director denies an ‘‘underserved area’’ request, the federal credit union may appeal the decision to the NCUA Board. An appeal must be sent to the NCUA Board Secretary within 60 days of the date of denial. The appeal must be clearly identified as such and address the specific reason(s) the federal credit union disagrees with the denial. A copy of the appeal must be sent to the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access. NCUA central office staff will make an independent review of the facts and present the appeal to the NCUA Board with a recommendation. Before appealing, the credit union may, within 30 days of the denial, provide supplemental information to the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director for reconsideration. A reconsideration will contain new and material evidence addressing the reasons for the initial denial. The Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director will have 30 days from the date of the receipt of the request for reconsideration to make a final decision. If the request is again denied, the applicant may proceed with the appeal process within 60 days of the date of the last denial. A second request for reconsideration will be treated as an appeal to the NCUA Board. Chapter 4—Charter Conversions I—Introduction A charter conversion is a change in the jurisdictional authority under which a credit union operates. Federal credit unions receive their charters from NCUA and are subject to its supervision, examination, and regulation. State-chartered credit unions are incorporated in a particular state, receiving their charter from the state agency responsible for credit unions and subject to the state’s regulator. If the state-chartered credit union’s deposits are federally insured, it will also fall under NCUA’s jurisdiction. A federal credit union’s power and authority are derived from the Federal Credit Union Act and NCUA Rules and Regulations. State-chartered credit unions are governed by state law and regulation. Certain federal laws and regulations also apply to federally insured state chartered credit unions. There are two types of charter conversions: federal charter to state charter and state charter to federal charter. Common bond and community requirements are not an issue from NCUA’s standpoint in the case of a federal to state charter conversion. The procedures and forms relevant to both types of charter conversion are included in appendix 4. II—Conversion of a State Credit Union to a Federal Credit Union II.A—General Requirements Any state-chartered credit union may apply to convert to a federal credit union. In order to do so it must: PO 00000 Frm 00036 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 • Comply with state law regarding conversion and file proof of compliance with NCUA; • File the required conversion application, proposed federal credit union organization certificate, and other documents with NCUA; • Comply with the requirements of the Federal Credit Union Act, e.g., chartering and reserve requirements; and • Be granted federal share insurance by NCUA. Conversions are treated the same as any initial application for a federal charter, including an on-site examination by NCUA where appropriate. NCUA will also consult with the appropriate state authority regarding the credit union’s current financial condition, management expertise, and past performance. Since the applicant in a conversion is an ongoing credit union, the economic advisability of granting a charter is more readily determinable than in the case of an initial charter applicant. A converting state credit union’s field of membership must conform to NCUA’s chartering policy. The field of membership will be phrased in accordance with NCUA chartering policy. However, if the converting credit union is a multiple group charter and the new federal charter is a multiple group, then the new federal charter may retain in its field of membership any group that the state credit union was serving at the time of conversion. Subsequent changes must conform to NCUA chartering policy in effect at that time. If the converting credit union is a community charter and the new federal charter is community-based, it must meet the community field of membership requirements set forth in Chapter 2, Section V of this manual. If the state-chartered credit union’s community boundary is more expansive than the approved federal boundary, only members of record outside of the new community boundary may continue to be served. The converting credit union, regardless of charter type, may continue to serve members of record. The converting credit union may retain in its field of membership any group or community added pursuant to state emergency provisions. II.B—Submission of Conversion Proposal to NCUA The following documents must be submitted with the conversion proposal: • Conversion of State Charter to Federal Charter (NCUA 4000); • Organization Certificate (NCUA 4008). Only Part (3) and the signature/notary section should be completed and, where applicable, signed by the credit union officials. • Report of Officials and Agreement to Serve (NCUA 4012); • The Application to Convert From State Credit Union to Federal Credit Union (NCUA 4401); • The Application and Agreements for Insurance of Accounts (NCUA 9500); • Certification of Resolution (NCUA 9501); • Written evidence regarding whether the state regulator is in agreement with the conversion proposal; and E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations • Business plan, as appropriate, including the most current financial report and delinquent loan schedule. If the state charter is applying to become a federal community charter, it must also comply with the documentation requirements included in Chapter 2, Section V.A.2 of this manual. asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES II.C—NCUA Consideration of Application To Convert II.C.1—Review by the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director The application will be reviewed to determine that it is complete and that the proposal is in compliance with Section 125 of the Federal Credit Union Act. This review will include a determination that the state credit union’s field of membership is in compliance with NCUA’s chartering policies. The Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director may make further investigation into the proposal and may require the submission of additional information to support the request to convert. II.C.2—On-Site Review NCUA may conduct an on-site examination of the books and records of the credit union. Non-federally insured credit unions will be assessed an insurance application fee. II.C.3—Approval by the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director and Conditions to the Approval The conversion will be approved by the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director if it is in compliance with Section 125 of the Federal Credit Union Act and meets the criteria for federal insurance. Where applicable, the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director will specify any special conditions that the credit union must meet in order to convert to a federal charter, including changes to the credit union’s field of membership in order to conform to NCUA’s chartering policies. Some of these conditions may be set forth in a Letter of Understanding and Agreement (LUA), which requires the signature of the officials and the appropriate NCUA regional director or Office of National Examinations and Supervision Director. II.C.4—Notification The Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director will notify both the credit union and the state regulator of the decision on the conversion. II.C.5—NCUA Disapproval When NCUA disapproves any application to convert to a federal charter, the applicant will be informed in writing of the: • Specific reasons for the action; • Options to consider, if appropriate, for gaining approval; and • Appeal procedures. II.C.6—Appeal of Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director Decision If a conversion to a federal charter is denied by the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director, the applicant credit union may appeal the decision to the NCUA Board. An appeal must be sent to the VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 NCUA Board Secretary within 60 days of the date of denial. The appeal must be clearly identified as such and address the specific reason(s) the credit union disagrees with the denial. A copy of the appeal must be sent to the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access. NCUA central office staff will make an independent review of the facts and present the appeal to the NCUA Board with a recommendation. Before appealing, the credit union may, within 30 days of the denial, provide supplemental information to the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director for reconsideration. The request will not be considered as an appeal, but a request for reconsideration by the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director. The Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director will have 30 business days from the date of the receipt of the request for reconsideration to make a final decision. If the application is again denied, the credit union may proceed with the appeal process to the NCUA Board within 60 days of the date of the last denial by the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director. II.D—Action by Board of Directors II.D.1—General Upon being informed of the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director’s preliminary approval, the board must: • Comply with all requirements of the state regulator that will enable the credit union to convert to a federal charter and cease being a state credit union; • Obtain a letter or official statement from the state regulator certifying that the credit union has met all of the state requirements and will cease to be a state credit union upon its receiving a federal charter. A copy of this document must be submitted to the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director; • Obtain a letter from the private share insurer (includes excess share insurers), if applicable, certifying that the credit union has met all withdrawal requirements. A copy of this document must be submitted to the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director; and • Submit a statement of the action taken to comply with any conditions imposed by the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director in the preliminary approval of the conversion proposal and, if applicable, submit the signed LUA. II.D.Application for a Federal Charter When the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director has received evidence that the board of directors has satisfactorily completed the actions described above, the federal charter and new Certificate of Insurance will be issued. The credit union may then complete the conversion as discussed in the following section. A denial of a conversion application can be appealed. Refer to Section II.C.6 of this chapter. PO 00000 Frm 00037 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 88447 II.E—Completion of the Conversion II.E.—Effective Date of Conversion The date on which the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director approves the Organization Certificate and the Application and Agreements for Insurance of Accounts is the date on which the credit union becomes a federal credit union. The Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director will notify the credit union and the state regulator of the date of the conversion. II.E.2—Assumption of Assets and Liabilities As of the effective date of the conversion, the federal credit union will be the owner of all of the assets and will be responsible for all of the liabilities and share accounts of the state credit union. II.E.3—Board of Directors’ Meeting Upon receipt of its federal charter, the board will hold its first meeting as a federal credit union. At this meeting, the board will transact such business as is necessary to complete the conversion as approved and to operate the credit union in accordance with the requirements of the Federal Credit Union Act and NCUA Rules and Regulations. As of the commencement of operations, the accounting system, records, and forms must conform to the standards established by NCUA. II.E.4—Credit Union’s Name Changing of the credit union’s name on all signage, records, accounts, investments, and other documents should be accomplished as soon as possible after conversion. The credit union has 180 days from the effective date of the conversion to change its signage and promotional material. This requires the credit union to discontinue using any remaining stock of ‘‘state credit union’’ stationery immediately, and discontinue using credit cards, ATM cards, etc., within 180 days after the effective date of the conversion, or the reissue date whichever is later. The Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director has the discretion to extend the timeframe for an additional 180 days. Member share drafts with the state-chartered name can be used by the members until depleted. II.E.Reports to NCUA Within 10 business days after commencement of operations, the recently converted federal credit union must submit to the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director the following: • Report of Officials (NCUA 4501); and • Financial and Statistical Reports, as of the commencement of business of the federal credit union. III—Conversion of a Federal Credit Union to a State Credit Union III.A—General Requirements Any federal credit union may apply to convert to a state credit union. In order to do so, it must: • Notify NCUA prior to commencing the process to convert to a state charter and state the reason(s) for the conversion; • Comply with the requirements of Section 125 of the Federal Credit Union Act that E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 88448 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations enable it to convert to a state credit union and to cease being a federal credit union; and • Comply with applicable state law and the requirements of the state regulator. It is important that the credit union provide an accurate disclosure of the reasons for the conversion. These reasons should be stated in specific terms, not as generalities. The federal credit union converting to a state charter remains responsible for the entire operating fee for the year in which it converts. asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES III.B—Special Provisions Regarding Federal Share Insurance If the federal credit union intends to continue federal share insurance after the conversion to a state credit union, it must submit an Application for Insurance of Accounts (NCUA 9600) to the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director at the time it requests approval of the conversion proposal. The Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director has the authority to approve or disapprove the application. If the converting federal credit union does not intend to continue federal share insurance or if its application for continued insurance is denied, insurance will cease in accordance with the provisions of Section 206 of the Federal Credit Union Act. If, upon its conversion to a state credit union, the federal credit union will be terminating its federal share insurance or converting from federal to non-federal share insurance, it must comply with the membership notice and voting procedures set forth in Section 206 of the Federal Credit Union Act and part 708 of NCUA’s Rules and Regulations, and address the criteria set forth in Section 205(c) of the Federal Credit Union Act. Where the state credit union will be nonfederally insured, federal insurance ceases on the effective date of the charter conversion. If it will be otherwise uninsured, then federal insurance will cease one year after the date of conversion subject to the restrictions in Section 206(d)(1) of the Federal Credit Union Act. In either case, the state credit union will be entitled to a refund of the federal credit union’s NCUSIF capitalization deposit after the final date on which any of its shares are federally insured. The NCUA Board reserves the right to delay the refund of the capitalization deposit for up to one year if it determines that payment would jeopardize the NCUSIF. III.C—Submission of Conversion Proposal to NCUA Upon approval of a proposition for conversion by a majority vote of the board of directors at a meeting held in accordance with the federal credit union’s bylaws, the conversion proposal will be submitted to the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director and will include: • A current financial report; • A current delinquent loan schedule; • An explanation and appropriate documents relative to any changes in insurance of member accounts; • A resolution of the board of directors; • A proposed Notice of Special Meeting of the Members (NCUA 4221); VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 • A copy of the ballot to be sent to all members (NCUA 4506); • If the credit union intends to continue with federal share insurance, an application for insurance of accounts (NCUA 9600); • Evidence that the state regulator is in agreement with the conversion proposal; and • A statement of reasons supporting the request to convert. III.D—Approval of Proposal to Convert III.D.1—Review by the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director The proposal will be reviewed to determine that it is complete and is in compliance with Section 125 of the Federal Credit Union Act. The Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director may make further investigation into the proposal and require the submission of additional information to support the request. III.D.2—Conditions to the Approval The Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director will specify any special conditions that the credit union must meet in order to proceed with the conversion. III.D.3—Approval by the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director The proposal will be approved by the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director if it is in compliance with Section 125 and, in the case where the state credit union will no longer be federally insured, the notice and voting requirements of Section 206 of the Federal Credit Union Act. III.D.4—Notification The Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director will notify both the credit union and the state regulator of the decision on the proposal. III.D.UA Disapproval When NCUA disapproves any application to convert to a state charter, the applicant will be informed in writing of the: • Specific reasons for the action; • If appropriate, options or suggestions that could be considered for gaining approval; and • Appeal procedures. III.D.6—Appeal of Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director Decision If the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director denies a conversion to a state charter, the federal credit union may appeal the decision to the NCUA Board. An appeal must be sent to the NCUA Board Secretary within 60 days of the date of denial. The appeal must be clearly identified as such and address the specific reason(s) the federal credit union disagrees with the denial. A copy of the appeal must be sent to the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access. NCUA central office staff will make an independent review of the facts and present the appeal to the NCUA Board with a recommendation. Before appealing, the credit union may, within 30 days of the denial, provide supplemental information to the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access PO 00000 Frm 00038 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 Director for reconsideration. The request will not be considered as an appeal, but a request for reconsideration by the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director. The Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director will have 30 business days from the date of the receipt of the request for reconsideration to make a final decision. If the application is again denied, the credit union may proceed with the appeal process to the NCUA Board within 60 days of the date of the last denial by the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director. III.E—Approval of Proposal by Members The members may not vote on the proposal until it is approved by the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director. Once approval of the proposal is received, the following actions will be taken by the board of directors: • The proposal must be submitted to the members for approval and a date set for a meeting to vote on the proposal. The proposal may be acted on at the annual meeting or at a special meeting for that purpose. The members must also be given the opportunity to vote by written ballot to be filed by the date set for the meeting. • Members must be given advance notice (NCUA 4221) of the meeting at which the proposal is to be submitted. The notice must: • Specify the purpose, time and place of the meeting; • Include a brief, complete, and accurate statement of the reasons for and against the proposed conversion, including any effects it could have upon share holdings, insurance of member accounts, and the policies and practices of the credit union; • Specify the costs of the conversion, i.e., changing the credit union’s name, examination and operating fees, attorney and consulting fees, tax liability, etc.; • Inform the members that they have the right to vote on the proposal at the meeting, or by written ballot to be filed not later than the date and time announced for the annual meeting, or at the special meeting called for that purpose; • Be accompanied by a Federal to State Conversion—Ballot for Conversion Proposal (NCUA 4506); and • State in bold face type that the issue will be decided by a majority of members who vote. • The proposed conversion must be approved by a majority of all of the members who vote on the proposal, a quorum being present, in order for the credit union to proceed further with the proposition, provided federal insurance is maintained. If the proposed state-chartered credit union will not be federally insured, 20 percent of the total membership must participate in the voting, and of those, a majority must vote in favor of the proposal. Ballots cast by members who did not attend the meeting but who submitted their ballots in accordance with instructions above will be counted with votes cast at the meeting. In order to have a suitable record of the vote, the voting at the meeting should be by written ballot as well. • The board of directors shall, within 10 days, certify the results of the membership E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations vote to the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director. The statement shall be verified by affidavits of the Chief Executive Officer and the Recording Officer on NCUA 4505. asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES III.F—Compliance With State Laws If the proposal for conversion is approved by a majority of all members who voted, the board of directors will: • Ensure that all requirements of state law and the state regulator have been accommodated; • Ensure that the state charter or the license has been received within 90 days from the date the members approved the proposal to convert; and • Ensure that the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director is kept informed as to progress toward conversion and of any material delay or of substantial difficulties which may be encountered. If the conversion cannot be completed within the 90-day period, the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director should be informed of the reasons for the delay. The Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director may set a new date for the conversion to be completed. III.G—Completion of Conversion In order for the conversion to be completed, the following steps are necessary: • The board of directors will submit a copy of the state charter to the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director within 10 days of its receipt. This will be accompanied by the federal charter and the federal insurance certificate. A copy of the financial reports as of the preceding monthend should be submitted at this time. • The Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director will notify the credit union and the state regulator in writing of the receipt of evidence that the credit union has been authorized to operate as a state credit union. • The credit union shall cease to be a federal credit union as of the effective date of the state charter. • If the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director finds a material deviation from the provisions that would invalidate any steps taken in the conversion, the credit union and the state regulator shall be promptly notified in writing. This notice may be either before or after the copy of the state charter is filed with the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director. The notice will inform the credit union as to the nature of the adverse findings. The conversion will not be effective and completed until the improper actions and steps have been corrected. • Upon ceasing to be a federal credit union, the credit union shall no longer be subject to any of the provisions of the Federal Credit Union Act, except as may apply if federal share insurance coverage is continued. The successor state credit union shall be immediately vested with all of the assets and shall continue to be responsible for all of the obligations of the federal credit union to the same extent as though the VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 conversion had not taken place. Operation of the credit union from this point will be in accordance with the requirements of state law and the state regulator. • If the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director is satisfied that the conversion has been accomplished in accordance with the approved proposal, the federal charter will be canceled. • There is no federal requirement for closing the records of the federal credit union at the time of conversion or for the manner in which the records shall be maintained thereafter. The converting credit union is advised to contact the state regulator for applicable state requirements. • The credit union shall neither use the words ‘‘Federal Credit Union’’ in its name nor represent itself in any manner as being a federal credit union. • Changing of the credit union’s name on all signage, records, accounts, investments, and other documents should be accomplished as soon as possible after conversion. Unless it violates state law, the credit union has 180 days from the effective date of the conversion to change its signage and promotional material. This requires the credit union to discontinue using any remaining stock of ‘‘federal credit union’’ stationery immediately, and discontinue using credit cards, ATM cards, etc., within 180 days after the effective date of the conversion, or the reissue date, whichever is later. The Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director has the discretion to extend the timeframe for an additional 180 days. Member share drafts with the federal chartered name can be used by the members until depleted. If the state credit union is not federally insured, it must change its name and must immediately cease using any credit union documents referencing federal insurance. • If the state credit union is to be federally insured, the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director will issue a new insurance certificate. APPENDIX 1 GLOSSARY These definitions apply only for use with this Manual. Definitions are not intended to be all inclusive or comprehensive. This Manual, the Federal Credit Union Act, and NCUA Rules and Regulations, as well as state laws, may be used for further reference. Adequately capitalized—A credit union is considered ‘‘adequately capitalized’’ when it meets the ‘‘adequately capitalized’’ definition in Part 702 of NCUA’s Rules and Regulations. A multiple common bond credit union must be ‘‘adequately capitalized’’ in order to add new groups to its charter. The Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access director, with input from the appropriate regional director or Office of National Examinations and Supervision Director, may determine that a less than ‘‘adequately capitalized’’ credit union can qualify for an expansion if it is making reasonable progress toward becoming ‘‘adequately capitalized,’’ and the addition of the group would not adversely affect the credit union’s capitalization level. Affinity—A relationship upon which a community charter is based. Acceptable PO 00000 Frm 00039 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 88449 affinities include living, working, worshiping, or attending school in a community. Appeal—The right of a credit union or charter applicant to request a formal review of the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access, regional director’s or Office of National Examinations and Supervision Director’s adverse decision by the National Credit Union Administration Board. Associational common bond—A common bond comprised of members and employees of a recognized association. It includes individuals (natural persons) and/or groups (non-natural persons) whose members participate in activities developing common loyalties, mutual benefits, and mutual interests. Business plan—Plan submitted by a charter applicant or existing federal credit union addressing the economic advisability of a proposed charter or field of membership addition. Charter—The document which authorizes a group to operate as a credit union and defines the fundamental limits of its operating authority, generally including the persons the credit union is permitted to accept for membership. Charters are issued by the National Credit Union Administration for federal credit unions and by the designated state chartering authority for credit unions organized under the laws of that state. Common bond—The characteristic or combination of characteristics which distinguishes a particular group of persons from the general public. There are two common bonds which can serve as a basis for a group forming a federal credit union or being included in an existing federal credit union’s field of membership: Occupational— employment by the same company, related companies or in a trade, industry, or profession (TIP); and associational— membership in the same association. Community credit union—A credit union whose field of membership consists of persons who live, work, worship, or attend school in the same well-defined local community, neighborhood, or rural district. Credit union—A member-owned, not-forprofit cooperative financial institution formed to permit those in the field of membership specified in the charter to save, borrow, and obtain related financial services. Economic advisability—An overall evaluation of the credit union’s or charter applicant’s ability to operate successfully. Emergency merger—Pursuant to Section 205(h) of the Federal Credit Union Act, authority of NCUA to merge two credit unions without regard to common bond policy. Exclusionary clause—A limitation, written in a credit union’s charter, which precludes the credit union from serving a portion of a group which otherwise could be included in its field of membership. Federal share insurance—Insurance coverage provided by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund and administered by the National Credit Union Administration. Coverage is provided for qualified accounts in all federal credit unions and participating state credit unions. E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 88450 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES Field of membership—The persons (including organizations and other legal entities) a credit union is permitted to accept for membership. Household—Persons living in the same residence maintaining a single economic unit. Housekeeping Amendment—A field of membership amendment to delete groups, change group names, change group locations, remove exclusionary clauses, and to add other persons eligible for credit union membership by virtue of their close relationship to a common bond group or the community for community charters. Immediate family member—A spouse, child, sibling, parent, grandparent, or grandchild. This includes stepparents, stepchildren, stepsiblings, and adoptive relationships. In danger of insolvency—In making the determination that a particular credit union is in danger of insolvency, NCUA will establish that the credit union falls into one or more of the following categories: 1. The credit union’s net worth is declining at a rate that will render it insolvent within 24 months. In projecting future net worth, NCUA may rely on data in addition to Call Report data. The trend must be supported by at least 12 months of historic data. 2. The credit union’s net worth is declining at a rate that will take it under two percent (2%) net worth within 12 months. In projecting future net worth, NCUA may rely on data in addition to Call Report data. The trend must be supported by at least 12 months of historic data. 3. The credit union’s net worth, as selfreported on its Call Report, is significantly undercapitalized, and NCUA determines that there is no reasonable prospect of the credit union becoming adequately capitalized in the succeeding 36 months. In making its determination on the prospect of achieving adequate capitalization, NCUA will assume that, if adverse economic conditions are affecting the value of the credit union’s assets and liabilities, including property values and loan delinquencies related to unemployment, these adverse conditions will not further deteriorate. Letter of Understanding and Agreement— Agreement between NCUA and federal credit union officials not to engage in certain activities and/or to establish reasonable operational goals. These are normally entered into with new charter applicants for a limited time. Mentor—An individual who provides guidance and assistance to newly chartered, small, or low-income credit unions. All new federal credit unions are encouraged to VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 establish a mentor relationship with a trained, experienced credit union individual or an existing credit union. Metropolitan Statistical Area—The Office of Management and Budget defines a metropolitan statistical area as an urbanized area that has at least one urbanized area in excess of 50,000 and ‘‘comprises the central county or counties containing the core, plus adjacent outlying counties having a high degree of social and economic integration with the central county as measured through commuting.’’ Merger—Absorption by one credit union of all of the assets, liabilities and equity of another credit union. Mergers must be approved by the National Credit Union Administration and by the appropriate state regulator whenever a state credit union is involved. Multiple common bond credit union—A credit union whose field of membership consists of more than one group, each of which has a common bond of occupation or association. Occupational common bond— Employment by the same entity or related entities or a Trade, Industry, or Profession. Once a member, always a member—A provision of the Federal Credit Union Act which permits an individual to remain a member of the credit union until he or she chooses to withdraw or is expelled from the membership of the credit union. Under this provision, leaving a group that is named in the credit union’s charter does not terminate an individual’s membership in the credit union. Organizations of such persons—An organization or organizations composed exclusively of persons who are within the field of membership of the credit union. Overlap—The situation which results when a group is eligible for membership in more than one credit union. Primary potential members—Members or employees who belong to an associational or occupational group. Purchase and assumption—Purchase of all or part of the assets of and assumption of all or part of the liabilities of one credit union by another credit union. The purchased and assumed credit union must first be placed into involuntary liquidation. Service area—The area that can reasonably be served by the service facilities accessible to the groups within the field of membership. Service facility—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 PO 00000 Frm 00040 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 weekly basis, a credit union owned ATM, a video teller machine 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 Web site. A service facility does not include an ATM or interest in a shared branch network for purposes of serving an underserved area. Single associational common bond credit union—A credit union whose field of membership includes members and employees of a recognized association. Single common bond credit union—A credit union whose field of membership consists of one group which has a common bond of occupation or association. Single occupational common bond credit union—A credit union whose field of membership consists of employees of the same entity or related entities or part of a Trade, Industry, or Profession (TIP). Spin-off—The transfer of a portion of the field of membership, assets, liabilities, shares, and capital of one credit union to a new or existing credit union. Subscribers—For a federal credit union, at least seven individuals who sign the charter application and pledge at least one share. Trade, Industry, or Profession (TIP)—A single occupational common bond credit union based on employment in a trade, industry, or profession including employment at any number of corporations or other legal entities that while not under common ownership—have a common bond by virtue of producing similar products, providing similar services, or participating in the same type of business. Underserved community—A local community, neighborhood, or rural district that is an ‘‘investment area’’ as defined in Section 103(16) of the Community Development Banking and Financial Institutions Act of 1994. The area must also be underserved based on other NCUA and federal banking agency data. Unsafe or unsound practice—Any action, or lack of action, which would result in an abnormal risk or loss to the credit union, its members, or the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund. BILLING CODE 7535–01–P E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations 88451 To the Board of Directors and Other Officials _ _ _ _ _ _ Federal Credit Union Since the purposes of credit unions are to promote thrift and to make funds available for loans to credit union members for provident and productive purposes, and since newly chartered credit unions do not generally have sufficient reserves to cover large losses on loans or meet unduly large liquidity requirements, Federal insurance coverage of member accounts under the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund will be granted to the above named credit union subject to the conditions listed in this Letter of Understanding and Agreement and in the Organization Certificate and Application and Agreements for Insurance of Accounts. These terms are listed below and are subject to acceptance by authorized credit union officials. 1. The credit union will refrain from soliciting or accepting brokered fund deposits from any source without the prior written approval of the Regional Director. 2. The credit union will refrain from the making of large loans, that is, loans in excess of 5 percent of unimpaired capital and surplus, to any one member or group of members without the prior written approval of the Regional Director. 3. The credit union will not establish or invest in a Credit Union Service Organization (CUSO) without the prior written approval of the Regional Director. 4. The credit union will not enter into any insurance programs whereby the credit union member finances the payment of insurance premiums through loans from the credit union. 5. Any special insurance plan/program, that is, insurance other than usual and normal surety bonding or casualty or liability or loan protection and life savings insurance coverage, which the credit union officials intend to undertake, will be submitted to the Regional Director of the National Credit Union Administration for written approval prior to the officials committing the credit union thereto. 6. The credit union will prepare and mail to the district examiner financial and statistical reports as required by the Federal Credit Union Act and Bylaws by the 20th of each month following that for which the report is prepared. 7. As the credit union's officials gain experience and the credit union achieves target levels of growth and profitability, the above terms and conditions may be renegotiated by the two parties. We, the undersigned officials of the Federal Credit Union, as authorized by the board of directors, acknowledge receipt of and agree to the attached Letter of Understanding and Agreement dated _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ Should the NCUA Board determine that these terms and conditions have not been complied with or that the board of directors or other officials have not conducted the affairs of the credit B-1 VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00041 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 ER07DE16.000</GPH> asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES This Letter of Understanding and Agreement has been voluntarily entered into with the National Credit Union Administration. We agree to comply with all terms and conditions expressed in this Letter of Understanding and Agreement. 88452 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations union in a sound and prudent manner, the NCUA Board may terminate insurance coverage of the credit union. If actions by the officials, in violation of this Letter of Understanding and Agreement, cause the credit union to become insolvent, the officials assume such personal liability as may result from their actions. The term of this Letter of Understanding and Agreement shall be for the period of at least 24 months from the date the credit union is insured. This Letter of Understanding and Agreement may, at the option of the Regional Director, be extended for an additional 24 months at the end of the initial term of this agreement. Dated this (day) of_ _--:---:-:-:---~:----:(month) (year) NATIONAL CREDIT UNION ADMINISTRATION BOARD ON BEHALF OF THE NATIONAL CREDIT UNION SHARE INSURANCE FUND Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Federal Credit Union By: Date Chief Financial Officer Date Secretary Date B-2 VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00042 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 ER07DE16.001</GPH> asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES Chief Executive Officer Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations 88453 tdt"'IIA 1'\1 OFFICE OF CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION AND ACCESS 1775 Duke Street Alexandria, VA 22314-3428 Phone: 703-518-6672 EMAIL: dcamail@ncua.gov Within the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access, the Division of Consumer Access and Division of Consumer Access - South share the responsibility for chartering and fieldof-membership matters, low-income designations, charter conversions and bylaw amendments. REGION 1- ALBANY 9 Washington Square Washington A venue Extension Albany, NY 12205 Phone: Fax: 518-862-7 400 518-862-7420 EMAIL: Region1 @ncua.gov Region 1 is responsible for all federally insured credit unions in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Wisconsin. 1900 Duke Street, Suite 300 Alexandria, VA 22314 States in Region 3 include Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee, as well as Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. REGION 4- AUSTIN 4807 Spicewood Springs Rd. Suite 5200 Austin, TX 78759-8490 Phone: 512-342-5600 Fax: 512-342-5620 EMAIL: Region4@ncua.gov Region 4, headquartered in Austin Texas, covers Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, and Wyoming. REGION 5- TEMPE Phone: Fax: EMAIL: 703-519-4600 703-519-4620 Region2@ncua.gov Region 2 is headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, and encompasses the states of Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia, and the District of Columbia. 602-302-6000 602-302-6024 Region5@ncua.gov Region 5 headquartered in Tempe, Arizona, covers Alaska, Arizona, California, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington. C-1 VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00043 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 ER07DE16.002</GPH> asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES 678-443-3000 678-443-3020 Region3@ncua.gov 1230 W. Washington Street Suite 301 Tempe, AZ 85281 REGION 2- CAPITAL Phone: Fax: EMAIL: 7000 Central Parkway, Suite 1600 Atlanta, GA 30328-4598 Phone: Fax: EMAIL: 703-518-1150 Fax: REGION 3- ATLANTA 88454 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations Form Title NCUA 4000 Conversion of State Charter to a Federal Charter- Federal Credit Union Investigation Report NCUA 4001 Federal Credit Union Investigation Report NCUA 4008 Organization Certificate NCUA 4009 Approval of Organization Certificate and Certification of Insurance NCUA 4012 Report of Official and Agreement to Serve NCUA 4015 Application for Field of Membership Amendment (use for all multiple common bond expansions involving groups of 5,000 or more persons) NCUA 4015-A Application for Field of Membership Amendment (use for all multiple common bond expansions involving groups of 3,000 to 4,999 persons) NCUA 4015-EZ Application for Field of Membership Amendment (use for all single common bond expansions and multiple common bond expansions involving groups of less than 3,000 persons) NCUA4221 Notice of Meeting of Members to Convert from a Federal to State Chartered Credit Union NCUA4401 Application to Convert from a State to a Federal Credit Union NCUA4505 Affidavit- Proof of Results of Membership Vote - Proposed Conversion From Federal Credit Union to State Credit Union NCUA4506 Federal to State Conversion - Ballot for Conversion Proposal NCUA 9500 Application and Agreements for Insurance of Accounts NCUA 9501 Certification of Resolutions NCUA 9600 Information to be Provided in Support of the Application of a State Chartered Credit Union for Insurance of Accounts D-1 VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00044 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 ER07DE16.003</GPH> asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES Form Number Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations 88455 CONVERSION OF STATE CHARTER TO FEDERAL CHARTER FEDERAL CREDIT UNION INVESTIGATION REPORT This report must be filled in completely and submitted with the other completed forms listed in Chapter 4 and in the instructions for this form. A. INFORMATION FOR CHARTER AND BYLAWS 1. Proposed Name: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Federal Credit Union Second Choice of Name: Federal Credit Union 2. Contact Person. _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ Bus. Tel. No./Area Code: _ _ _ _ _ _ Res. Tel. No./Area Code._ _ _ _ _ __ 3. The credit union will maintain its office at: (City) (County) (State) (Zip) 4. Permanent mailing address of credit union: 5. Define proposed field of membership (Attach a copy of current state charter field of membership): 1. NCUA4000 VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00045 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 PAGE 1 E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 ER07DE16.004</GPH> asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES 6. The board will have (an odd number 5 to 15) members; the credit committee (an odd number, 3 to 7) members; the supervisory committee (3 to 5) members. Each official must complete a Report of Official and Agreement to Serve (NCUA 4012) which is to be submitted with this investigation report. 88456 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations B. CHARACTER AND FITNESS OF SUBSCRIBERS 7. Type or print the list of the subscribers who have signed the organization certificate (7 not more than 10 persons). Names should be IDENTICAL to signatures on the Organization Certificate (NCUA 4008). Each subscriber listed below has subscribed to at least one share in accordance with Section 103 of the Federal Credit Union Act: Name: Address: Occupation: Name: Years of Membership: Address: Occupation: Name: Address: Years of Membership: Occupation: Name: Years of Membership: Address: Occupation: Name: Years of Membership: Address: Occupation: Name: Address: Years of Membership: Occupation: Name: Years of Membership: Address: Occupation: Name: Address: Years of Membership: Occupation: Name: Years of Membership: Address: Occupation: Name: Years of Membership: Address: Years of Membership: NCUA4000 VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00046 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 PAGE2 E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 ER07DE16.005</GPH> asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES Occupation: Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations 88457 ANY ADDITIONAL COMMENTS OR INFORMATION THAT IS DEEMED PERTINENT OR HELPFUL IN GIVING CONSIDERATION TO THIS APPLICATION SHOULD BE INCLUDED AS AN ATTACHMENT. The undersigned certifies that to the best of his/her knowledge and belief the above information is true and correct. NCUA4000 VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00047 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 PAGE3 E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 ER07DE16.006</GPH> asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES I do (do not) recommend that a charter be granted to this group. Signature , Organizer Organizer's Address: - - - - - - - - - - - - 88458 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations FORM 4000 INSTRUCTIONS A. INFORMATION FOR CHARTERS AND BYLAWS The subscriber should select a name for the proposed credit union. It is the responsibility of the federal credit union organizers to ensure that the proposed federal credit union name does not constitute an infringement on the name of any corporation in its trade area. The last three words in the name must be "Federal Credit Union." Since the name selected should not duplicate exactly the name of an existing credit union, item 1 provides space for a second choice. The territory of operations of a Federal credit union is described in the field of membership, item 5. The principal office of the credit union will usually be maintained at a location described in the field of membership. The proposed field of membership should be defined so clearly that it leaves no room for any doubt as to whom the credit union is to serve or the area which it is to operate. Corporations and other organizations referred to in the definition of the field of membership should be designated by the exact names rather than by some local or popular contraction of these names. Any segment of a larger organization should be identified with the parent. The field of membership for each type of common bond and samples are discussed in detail in Chapter 2 of the "Chartering and Field of Membership Manual." With the guidance of the organizer, the subscribers to the Organization Certificate decide on the number of directors and credit committee members. The board and credit committee must be composed of an odd number of members. The supervisory committee is appointed by the board of directors. B. CHARACTER AND FITNESS OF SUBSCRIBERS NCUA4000 VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00048 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 PAGE4 E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 ER07DE16.007</GPH> asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES The names and address of the subscribers should be recorded legibly and completely in item 7 of this report. It is from this information that the National Credit Union Administration prepares Section 3 of the charter. The names of the subscribers must be IDENTICAL to their signatures on the Organization Certificate. Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations 88459 C. SUBMITTAL OF CHARTER APPLICATION In addition to this Investigation Report, the following should be submitted to the Director of NCUA's Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access: 1. Application to Convert, NCUA 4401- one original; 2. Written evidence regarding whether the state regulator is in agreement with the conversion proposal; 3. Application and Agreements for Insurance of Accounts, NCUA 9500 - one original; 4. Certificate of Resolution, NCUA 9501 - one original; 5. Organization Certificate, NCUA 4008 - one notarized original. At least seven, but no more than ten persons, must sign the organization certificate. The person administering the oath must not be one of the subscribers. The oath on the organization certificate must be executed and show the notary's seal and date the commission expires as required by State law; 6. Report of Official and Agreement to Serve, NCUA 4012 - one original for each board member, credit committee member, and supervisory committee member; 7. Most current financial report and delinquent loan schedule; and NCUA4000 VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00049 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 PAGES E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 ER07DE16.008</GPH> asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES 8. Business Plan - refer to Chapter 1 of the Chartering and Field of Membership Manual for a discussion of the components of an acceptable business plan. -to 88460 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations FEDERAL CREDIT UNION INVESTIGATION REPORT This form must be filled in completely and submitted with the other completed forms listed in the instructions to this form. A. INFORMATION FOR CHARTER AND BYLAWS 1. Proposed name: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Federal Credit Union Second choice: Federal Credit Union Person: _ __ Tel.: _ _ __ Tel.: _ __ 2. Contact Business Residence Address: 3. The credit union will maintain its offices at: (City, State, County, Zip Code) 3a. Proposed permanent mailing address of credit union: 4. Define proposed field of membership: - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - NCUA4001 VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00050 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 PAGE 1 E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 ER07DE16.009</GPH> asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES 5. The board will have (an odd number, 5 to 15) members; the credit committee will have (an odd number, 3 to 7) members; the supervisory committee will have (3 to 5) members. Each official must complete a Report of Official and Agreement to Serve (NCUA 4012) which is to be submitted with this investigation report. Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations 88461 B. ECONOMIC ADVISABILITY OF ORGANIZING PROPOSED CREDIT UNION (Attach a separate sheet if space available is not adequate.) GENERAL INFORMATION 1. Potential membership: _ _ _ __ NOTE: Number of employees for occupational, active members for associational (or families for religious groups), or population per most recent census for community-type fields of membership. 2. Potential interest (survey results). NOTE: Sample must consist of a minimum of 250 potential members. Copy of survey form(s) utilized should be attached. Number of people surveyed: _ _ __ Number of people responding to survey: _ _ _ __ Number of people pledging an initial deposit: _ _ _ __ Total dollars pledged: $_ _ _ __ Number pledging systematic savings: _ Total dollars pledged (per month): $._ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ 3. Number of persons attending the charter-organization meeting: _ _ __ 4. Attach a business plan containing, at a minimum, the following elements: mission statement; • analysis of market conditions, including if applicable, geographic, demographic, employment, income, housing, and other economic data; • evidence of member support; • goals for shares, loans, and for number of members; • financial services needed/desired; • financial services to be provided to members of all segments within the field of membership; • how/when services are to be implemented; • organizational/management plan addressing qualification and planned training of officials/employees; • NCUA4001 VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00051 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 PAGE2 E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 ER07DE16.010</GPH> asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES • 88462 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations • continuity plan for directors, committee members, and management staff; • operating facilities, to include office space/equipment and supplies, safeguarding of assets, insurance coverage, etc.; • type of record keeping and data processing system; • detailed semiannual pro forma financial statements (balance sheet, income and expense projections) for 1st and 2nd year, including assumptions- e.g., loan and dividend rates; • plans for operating independently; • written policies (shares, lending, investments, funds management, capital accumulation, dividends, collections, etc.); • source of funds to pay expenses during initial months of operation, including any subsidies, assistance, etc., and terms or conditions of such resources; and • evidence of sponsor commitment (or other source of support) if subsidies are critical to success of the federal credit union. Evidence may be in the form of letters, contracts, financial statements from the sponsor, and any other such document on which the proposed federal credit union can substantiate its projections. 5. What potential difficulties do you detect in the elected officials carrying out their management responsibilities or in the FCU achieving its stated objectives? 6. What provisions have been made to overcome potential difficulties? Dates of planned contacts by organizer to determine progress and to assist the group: NCUA4001 VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00052 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 PAGE3 E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 ER07DE16.011</GPH> asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES First Contact Date: Second Contact Date: Third Contact Date: Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations 88463 SPECIFIC INFORMATION -OCCUPATIONAL (same company) CHARTER APPLICANTS 1. How long has the sponsor company been in existence? _ _ __ 2. What was the highest number of employees during the past three years? ___ Lowest number during the past three years? If a large variance, 3. Are there any contemplated changes in the corporate structure of the company? _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ ~Wyes,explain. 4. Have there been any significant changes in the corporate structure in the past three years? If yes, please e x p l a i n . - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 5. Are there any negotiations now in progress between management and labor that could lead to work stoppages? If yes, please explain. ------~ NCUA4001 VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00053 Fmt 4701 PAGE4 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 ER07DE16.012</GPH> asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES 6. If the credit union cannot operate on the employer's property, explain how the credit union will be able to transact business effectively with the members. 88464 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations 7. If the employees to be served by the credit union work in more than one location or city, identify each location with the corresponding number of employees working at e a c h . - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - NCUA4001 VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00054 Fmt 4701 PAGES Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 ER07DE16.013</GPH> asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES 8. Are there other employees of the company who are not being included in the proposed field of membership? If so, give the number and location of the other employees and explain why they are not included in the proposed credit union's field of m e m b e r s h i p . - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations 88465 SPECIFIC INFORMATION- OCCUPATIONAL (trade, industry or profession) CHARTER APPLICANTS NCUA4001 VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00055 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 PAGES E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 ER07DE16.014</GPH> asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES 1. Explain how the credit union will be able to transact business effectively with the m e m b e r s . - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 88466 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations SPECIFIC INFORMATION - ASSOCIATIONAL CHARTER APPLICANTS 1. State the purpose and goals of the organization sponsoring this charter. 2. List the types of activities and their frequency, which the organization sponsors that provide contact among the members and from which common loyalties, mutual benefits, and mutual interests are developed. - - - - - - - - - - - 3. In what year was the organization established?_ _ _ ls it incorporated? _ __ Where is the headquarters l o c a t e d ? - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 4. Give statistics as to trends in membership during the last five years. _ _ __ 5. What is the frequency of membership meetings? _ __ Average attendance: Dues required:$ _ __ NCUA4001 VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00056 Fmt 4701 PAGE7 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 ER07DE16.015</GPH> asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES 6. State the geographic territory where members reside. - - - - - - - - - - Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations 88467 7. Submit a copy of the current bylaws of the association, the constitution, articles of incorporation, or equivalent documentation and recent financial statements, i.e. balance sheet, and income and expense statement, with this application. NCUA4001 VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00057 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 PAGES E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 ER07DE16.016</GPH> asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES 8. If the bylaws, constitution, articles of incorporation, or equivalent documentation provide for more than one type of membership and if all classes of membership are to be included in the credit union's field of membership, provide justification for the inclusion of other than "regular" members. 88468 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations SPECIFIC INFORMATION - MULTIPLE COMMON BOND CHARTER APPLICANTS NCUA4001 VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00058 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 PAGE9 E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 ER07DE16.017</GPH> asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES 1. Explain how the credit union will be able to transact business effectively with the members. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations 88469 SPECIFIC INFORMATION - COMMUNITY CHARTER APPLICANTS 1. Community charters must be based on a well-defined local community, neighborhood, or rural district where individuals have common interests and/or interact. Please refer to Chapter 2, Section V of the "Chartering and Field of Membership Manual" when answering this question. 2. Provide a map which clearly outlines the credit union's proposed community boundaries and identify proposed service facilities. NCUA4001 VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00059 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 PAGE10 E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 ER07DE16.018</GPH> asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES 1. 88470 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations C. CHARACTER AND FITNESS OF SUBSCRIBERS 1. List of subscribers who have signed the Organization Certificate (7 not more than 10 persons). Names should be IDENTICAL to signature on the Organization Certificate (NCUA 4008). Each subscriber listed below has subscribed to at least one share in accordance with Section 103 of the Federal Credit Union Act: Name: ___________________________ Address: _________________________ Occupation: ----------------------Years of Residence: _ _ __ Name: ___________________________ Address: _________________________ Occupation: ----------------------Years of Residence: _ _ __ Name: ___________________________ Address: _________________________ Occupation: ----------------------Years of Residence: _ _ __ Name: ___________________________ Address: _________________________ Occupation: ----------------------Years of Residence: _ _ __ Name: ___________________________ Address: _________________________ Occupation: ----------------------Years of Residence: _ _ __ Name: ___________________________ Address: _________________________ NCUA4001 VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00060 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 PAGE 11 E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 ER07DE16.019</GPH> asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES Occupation: ----------------------Years of Residence: _ _ __ Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations 88471 Name: ____________________________ Address: ___________________________ Occupation: ----------------------Years of Residence: ________ Name: ____________________________ Address: ___________________________ Occupation: ----------------------Years of Residence: ________ Name: ____________________________ Address: ___________________________ Occupation: ----------------------Years of Residence: ________ Name: ____________________________ Address: ___________________________ Occupation: ----------------------Years of Residence: ________ 2. Are all of the subscribers within the field of membership?______ Do they appear to be representative of the group described in the definition of the field of membership? If not, explain. ------------------------------------ NCUA4001 VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00061 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 PAGE12 E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 ER07DE16.020</GPH> asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES 3. Does your investigation indicate that the subscribers are persons of good character? If not, explain. --------------------------------------- 88472 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations 4. From your investigation, is it your judgment that the directors and committee members are persons of good character, and that they have the ability and If not, explain. _ __ determination to operate a credit union satisfactorily? 5. Does it appear that there are any factions within the group which may render smooth and efficient credit union operations difficult? If so, explain. _ __ 6. Is there any indication that the proposed credit union would be used for selfish gain by any person or group of persons within the group to be served?_ _ _ __ 7. Is an application for a State Charter now p e n d i n g ? - - - - - - - - - - 8. Has the group ever had a credit union?_ _ _ lf so, when did it liquidate or merge?-----------ANY ADDITIONAL COMMENTS OR INFORMATION THAT IS DEEMED PERTINENT OR HELPFUL IN GIVING CONSIDERATION TO THIS APPLICATION SHOULD BE INCLUDED AS AN ATTACHMENT. The undersigned certifies that to the best of their knowledge and belief the above information is true and correct. I do (do not) recommend that a charter be granted to this group. Signature: Organizer's Address: , Organizer Date: - - - - - - - - - NCUA 4001 VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00062 Fmt 4701 PAGE 13 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 ER07DE16.021</GPH> asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES Telephone No.: Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations 88473 FORM 4001 INSTRUCTIONS A. INFORMATION FOR CHARTER AND BYLAWS The subscriber should select a name for the proposed credit union. It is the responsibility of the federal credit union organizers to ensure that the proposed federal credit union name does not constitute an infringement on the name of any corporation in its trade area. The last three words in the name must be "Federal Credit Union." Since the name selected should not duplicate exactly the name of an existing credit union, Item 1 provides space for a second choice. The territory of operations of a Federal Credit Union is described in the field of membership, item 4. The principal office of the credit union will usually be maintained at a location described in the field of membership. The proposed field of membership should be defined so clearly that it leaves no room for any doubt as to whom the credit union is to serve or the area which it is to operate. Corporations and other organizations referred to in the definition of the field of membership should be designated by the exact names rather than by some local or popular contraction of these names. The field of membership for each type of common bond and samples are discussed in detail in Chapter 2 of the "Chartering and Field of Membership Manual." With the guidance of the organizer, the subscribers to the Organization Certificate decide on the number of directors and credit committee members. The board and credit committee must be composed of an odd number of members. The supervisory committee is appointed by the board of directors. B. ECONOMIC ADVISABILITY OF ORGANIZING PROPOSED CREDIT UNION This section of the report contains information on the required business plan elements and other information needed to make a decision on the economic advisability of chartering the proposed credit union. The names and addresses of the subscribers should be recorded legibly and completely in item C. 1. of this report. It is from this information that the National Credit Union Administration prepares Section 3 of the charter. The names of the subscribers must be IDENTICAL to their signatures on the Organization Certificate. NCUA4001 VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00063 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 PAGE14 E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 ER07DE16.022</GPH> asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES C. CHARACTER AND FITNESS OF SUBSCRIBERS 88474 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations D. SUBMITTAL OF CHARTER APPLICATION In addition to this Investigation Report, the following should be submitted to the Director of NCUA's Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access: 1. Organization Certificate, NCUA 4008 - one notarized original. At least seven, but no more than ten persons, must sign the organization certificate. The person administering the oath must not be one of the subscribers. The oath on the organization certificate must be executed and show the notary's seal and date the commission expires as required by State law; 2. Report of Official and Agreement to Serve, NCUA 4012- one original for each board member, credit committee member, and supervisory committee member; 3. Business Plan - refer to Part B, question 4 of this form and Chapter 1 of the Chartering and Field of Membership Manual for a discussion of the components of an acceptable business plan; 4. Application and Agreements for Insurance of Accounts, NCUA 9500 - one original; and 5. Certification of Resolutions, NCUA 9501 - one original. NCUA4001 VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00064 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 PAGE15 E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 ER07DE16.023</GPH> asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES 1. Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations 88475 NATIONAL CREDIT UNION ADMINISTRATION FEDERAL CREDIT UNION (A corporation chartered under the laws of the United States) CHARTER NO. _________ VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00065 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 ER07DE16.024</GPH> asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES NCUA4008 PAGE 1 88476 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations ORGANIZATION CERTIFICATE _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ ,FEDERAL CREDIT UNION Charter No. ___________ TO NATIONAL CREDIT UNION ADMINISTRATION: We, the undersigned, do hereby associate ourselves as a Federal Credit Union for the purposes indicated in and in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Credit Union Act, (12 U.S.C. 1751 et seq.). We hereby request approval of this organization certificate; we hereby apply for insurance of member accounts; we agree to comply with the requirements of said Act, with the terms of this organization certificate and with all laws, rules, and regulations now or hereafter applicable to Federal Credit Unions. (1) The name of this credit union shall be_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _Federal Credit Union. (2) This credit union will maintain its office and will operate in the territory described in the field of membership. (1) VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00066 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 ER07DE16.025</GPH> asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES NCUA4008 PAGE2 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations (3) 88477 The names and addresses of the subscribers to this certificate and the number of shares subscribed by each are as follows: NAME ADDRESS SHARES (4) The par value of the shares of this credit union will be stated in the bylaws. (5) The field of membership shall be limited to those having the following common bond: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00067 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 ER07DE16.026</GPH> asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES NCUA4008 PAGE3 88478 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations (6) The term of this credit union's existence shall be perpetual: Provided, however, that upon the finding that this credit union is bankrupt or insolvent or has violated any provision of this organization certificate, of the bylaws, of the Federal Credit Union Act including any amendments thereto or thereof, or of any regulations issued thereunder, this organization certificate may be suspended or revoked under the provisions of Section 120(b) of the Federal Credit Union Act. (7) This certificate is made to enable the undersigned to avail themselves of the advantages of said Act. (8) The management of this credit union, the conduct of its affairs, and the powers, duties, and privileges of its directors, officers, committees and membership shall be set forth in the approved bylaws and any approved amendments thereto or thereof. IN WITNESS THEREOF we 1 have here unto subscribed our names this (day) (year) (month) Subscribed before me, an officer competent to administer oaths, at _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ CITY/STATE this _ _ _ _ __ (day) (year) (month) Signed-------------Title_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ (Notary public or other competent officer) 1 At least seven signers none of whom should administer the oath. VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00068 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 ER07DE16.027</GPH> asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES NCUA4008 PAGE4 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations 88479 APPROVAL OF ORGANIZATION CERTIFICATE AND CERTIFICATION OF INSURANCE Pursuant to the provisions of the Federal Credit Union Act (12 U.S.C. 1751 et seq.), the foregoing organization certificate and insurance of member accounts of _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Federal Credit Union are approved this (day) (month) (year) CHAIRPERSON NATIONAL CREDIT UNION ADMINISTRATION VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00069 Fmt 4701 PAGE 1 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 ER07DE16.028</GPH> asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES NCUA4009 88480 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations REPORT OF OFFICIAL AND AGREEMENT TO SERVE TO: NATIONAL CREDIT UNION ADMINISTRATION Proposed _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Federal Credit Union Title of Prospective Position: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ Name: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ ___ Mr./Ms./Mrs. Last, First, Middle Maiden Name (If Different From Above): - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Address (Res.): ----------------------------------------------Street, City, State, Zip Code Telephone Number: (_) _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ Place of Birth:.Date of Birth: ________________City/State/Country Employer:----------Social Security Number (Optional): -----------Type of Business: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ ___ Number of years with present employer: _ _ _ _Your position title: _ _ _ __ Education background (enter highest grade completed) High School: College: Major Field of Study: - - - - - - Other training or experience: Are you willing to accept the position of trust for which you have been selected and to remain in office until a qualified successor is found? _ _YES _ _ NO necessary to familiarize yourself with and to perform your duties? VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00070 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 ER07DE16.029</GPH> asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES Have you been informed as to the general duties and responsibilities of an official of the proposed Federal Credit Union and are you willing to devote the time Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations 88481 Estimated number of hours per month you will be able to volunteer: _ __ IF THE ANSWER IS YES TO THE FOLLOWING QUESTION, PLEASE PROVIDE INFORMATION AS INSTRUCTED ON THE FOLLOWING PAGE: Have you ever been convicted of any CRIMINAL OFFENSE involving dishonesty or a breach of trust?__YES _ _ NO To facilitate the process of obtaining a credit and background check, please provide the following: 1. Any other names which you have used: 2. Previous address, (if your address changed over the past 2 years): and, 3.NameofSpouse: _____________________________ READ THE FOLLOWING CAREFULLY BEFORE SIGNING CERTIFICATION AND AGREEMENT TO SERVE I certify that the information provided on this form is true and correct. Further, I, the undersigned, having been duly designated to occupy the position(s) indicated above, do hereby agree to serve in the above-stated office(s) of this proposed credit union until the first annual meeting held in accordance with the Federal Credit Union Act and the bylaws of this credit union and until the election of my successor(s). I further pledge to carry out the duties and responsibilities commensurate with said office(s) as promulgated by the Federal Credit Union Act and the bylaws of this credit union. I have read the Privacy Act Notice that follows. Signature Witness PAGE2 NCUA 4012 VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00071 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 ER07DE16.030</GPH> asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES Date 88482 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations PRIVACY ACT NOTICE The Privacy Act of 1974 (Public Law 93-579) requires that you be advised as to the legal authority, purpose and uses of the information solicited by this form. Pursuant to Sections 104 and 205(d) of the Federal Credit Union Act, the information in this form is requested for the purpose of completing the investigation required for a new Federal credit union. The information in this form will be primarily used in considering the soundness of the management for the proposed Federal credit union. However, this form may be disclosed to any of the following sources: a congressional office in response to your inquiry to that office; an appropriate Federal, state or local authority in the investigation or enforcement of a statute or regulation; or employees of a Federal agency for audit purposes. Failure to complete this form or omission of any item of information, except for disclosure of your social security number, may result in a delay in the process for chartering the proposed Federal credit union. In accordance with Section 792.68 of NCUA's regulations, you are not required to furnish your social security number on this form. Your social security number, if voluntarily provided, will be used to more easily verify the information required by this form. No penalty will result to you as a management official or to the chartering of the proposed Federal credit union if you do not provide your social security number. Further information needed if answer to CRIMINAL OFFENSE question on the previous page was YES: CRIMINAL OFFENSE: Nature of offense: of conviction: _ __ Date of occurrence: ________ Date Sentence conferred: - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - NCUA4012 VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00072 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 PAGE3 E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 ER07DE16.031</GPH> asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES (Attach a separate sheet if space provided is not adequate) Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations 88483 CRIMINAL OFFENSE GUIDELINES The Federal Credit Union Act, Subchapter II, Section 205(d), requires that, except with the written consent of the NCUA Board, no person shall serve as director, officer, committee member, or employee of an insured credit union who has been convicted or who is hereafter convicted, of any criminal offense involving dishonesty or breach of trust. To assist the NCUA Board in making a determination of the fitness of a person who is selected to serve and who the organizer believes is qualified to serve as an official, the specific information above will need to be furnished. If the NCUA Board believes that, in view of the facts presented and the date of the offense, they can give their consent to the appointment they will so advise that person in writing. If on the other hand, the NCUA Board believes after careful consideration that they cannot in good conscience give their written consent to the appointment they will contact the organizer and ask that another person be selected for the position. The person selected will have to complete a Report of Official and Agreement to Serve. NCUA4012 VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00073 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 PAGE4 E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 ER07DE16.032</GPH> asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES An indication of whether the bonding company would agree to provide coverage should be included if the person is to serve as treasurer. Bonding company agrees to provide coverage: __YES _ _ NO 88484 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations AUTHORIZATION TO OBTAIN A CREDIT REPORT The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) may evaluate the competence, experience, character, and integrity of any individual who is to serve as an official, employee, or committee member of a federally insured credit union, in accordance with §1790a of the Federal Credit Union Act and Chapter 1, §V.B.4 of the NCUA Chartering and Field of Membership Manual. NCUA may disapprove any individual whose employment it believes will not be in the best interest of the credit union or of the public. To assist in the evaluation process, NCUA may obtain and review an individual's credit report. Your signature on this document authorizes NCUA to obtain a copy of your credit report. Last First Middle Social Security Number: - - - - - - - - - - - - - Date of Birth: _ _ _ __ Date NCUA4012 VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00074 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 PAGES E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 ER07DE16.033</GPH> asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES Signature Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations 88485 USE FOR MULTIPLE COMMON BOND EXPANSION FOR GROUPS OF 5.000 OR MORE PERSONS Attach a separate application for each group included in your request for expansion. The application must be complete or it will be returned unprocessed. 1. Name and address of credit union: Telephone Number: Charter Number: 2. Name and address of group: Telephone Number: _ _ _ __ If the group is an association: D Include a statement indicating whether the association has been formed primarily for the purpose of expanding credit union membership. Such a group is not eligible for inclusion in a multiple common bond credit union unless it qualifies as a low-income association; and If the group is an association AND it is NOT one of the categories of pre-approved groups outlined in Chapter 2, Section III.A.1.b of the Chartering Manual: D Include a copy of the association's Charter/Bylaws or other equivalent organizational documentation. 3. Provide the proposed field of membership wording. Use the example wording found in NCUA's Chartering and Field of Membership Manual, Chapter 2, Section IV.A.2. NCUA4015 VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00075 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 PAGE1 E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 ER07DE16.034</GPH> asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES 4. How many primary potential members (excluding immediate family and household members) are in the group: 88486 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations 5. (a) What is the distance between the group's location and your credit union's nearest service facility1 to which the group has access (Reference Chapter 2, Section IV.A.1): (b) What is the address of this service facility: (c) Describe the service area 2 primarily served by the above service facility: 6. Is the group in the field of membership of .9..0¥.-0ther credit union? Yes_ _ No__ If yes, and the overlapped credit union is not a community credit union or a non-federally insured credit union, please address the following: D Provide the name and location of the other servicing credit union: D Include a letter from the overlapped credit union indicating whether it concurs or objects to the overlap. If the overlapped credit union objects or fails to respond, document attempts to resolve the issue: 1 A service facility is defined as a place where shares are accepted for members' accounts, loan applications are accepted or loans are disbursed. PAGE2 NCUA4015 VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00076 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 ER07DE16.035</GPH> asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES 2 A federal credit union's service area is the area that can reasonably be served by the service facility accessible to the groups within the field of membership. It will most often coincide with that geographic area primarily served by the service facility. Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations D 88487 Explain how the expansion's beneficial effect in meeting the convenience and needs of the members of the group clearly outweighs any adverse effect on the overlapped credit union: 7. Attach a letter, or equivalent documentation, from the group requesting credit union service indicating: D 0 D D D that the group wants to be added to the federal credit union's field of membership; whether the group presently has other credit union service available; the number of persons currently included within the group to be added and the group's location(s); the group's proximity to the credit union's nearest service facility; and why the formation of a separate credit union for the group is not practical. The criteria for demonstrating formation of a separate credit union is not practical are outlined in Chapter 2, Section IV.B.2 of NCUA's Chartering and Field of Membership Manual. 8. Other comments: Name and title of credit union board-authorized representative (e.g., PresidenUCEO): (Signature) (Date) NCUA4015 VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00077 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 PAGE3 E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 ER07DE16.036</GPH> asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES (Typed/Printed Name) 88488 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations USE FOR MULTIPLE COMMON BOND EXPANSION FOR GROUPS OF 3.000 to 4.999 PERSONS Attach a separate application for each group included in your request for expansion. The application must be complete or it will be returned unprocessed. Telephone Number: _ _ _ __ 1. Name and address of credit union: Charter Number: Telephone Number: _ _ _ __ 2. Name and address of group: If the group is an association: D Include a statement indicating whether the association has been formed primarily for the purpose of expanding credit union membership. Such a group is not eligible for inclusion in a multiple common bond credit union unless it qualifies as a /ow-income association; and If the group is an association AND it is NOT one of the categories of pre-approved groups outlined in Chapter 2, Section III.A.1.b of the Chartering Manual: D Include a copy of the association's Charter/Bylaws or other equivalent organizational documentation. NCUA4015-A VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00078 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 PAGE1 E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 ER07DE16.037</GPH> asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES 3. Provide the proposed field of membership wording. Use the example wording found in NCUA's Chartering and Field of Membership Manual, Chapter 2, Section IV.A.2. Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations 4. How many primary potential members (excluding immediate family and household members) are in the group: 5. 88489 (a) What is the distance between the group's location and your credit union's nearest service facility1 to which the group has access (Reference Chapter 2, Section IV.A.1): (b) What is the address of this service facility: (c) Describe the service area2 primarily served by the above service facility: 6. Attach a letter, or equivalent documentation, from the group requesting credit union service indicating: D D B that the group wants to be added to the federal credit union's field of membership; the number of persons currently included within the group to be added and the group's location(s); how the group is within reasonable proximity to the credit union; and the formation of a separate credit union for the group is not practical. Include a statement indicating the formation of a separate credit union is not practical because the group lacks available subsidies, interest among the group's members, and sufficient resources. No additional information or documentation is necessary. 1 A service facility is defined as a placewheresharesare accepted for members' accounts, loan applications are accepted or loans are disbursed. A federal credit union's service area is the area that can reasonably be served by the service facility accessible to the groups within the field of membership. It will most often coincide with that geographic area primarily served by the service facility. NCUA4015-A VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00079 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 PAGE2 E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 ER07DE16.038</GPH> asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES 2 88490 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations 7. Other comments: Name and title of credit union board-authorized representative (e.g., President/CEO): (Signature) (Date) NCUA4015-A VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00080 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 PAGE3 E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 ER07DE16.039</GPH> asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES (Typed/Printed Name) Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations 88491 USE FOR MULTIPLE COMMON BOND EXPANSIONS OF LESS THAN 3.000 PERSONS AND ALL SINGLE COMMON BOND EXPANSIONS Attach a separate application for each group included in your request for expansion. The application must be complete or it will be returned unprocessed. 1. Name and address of credit union: Telephone Number: _ _ _ _ __ Charter Number: 2. Name and address of group: Telephone Number: _ _ _ _ __ If the group is an association: D Include a statement indicating whether the association has been formed primarily for the purpose of expanding credit union membership. Such a group is not eligible for inclusion in a multiple common bond credit union unless it qualifies as a low-income association; and If the group is an association AND it is NOT one of the categories of pre-approved groups outlined in Chapter 2, Section //I.A. 1.b of the Chartering Manual: D Include a copy of the association's Charter/Bylaws or other equivalent organizational documentation. 3. Provide the proposed field of membership wording: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ 4. Multiple Common Bond Expansions Only: Attach a letter, or equivalent documentation, from the group requesting credit union service indicating: that the group wants to be added to the federal credit union's field of membership; D D the number of persons to be added and the group's location(s); and the group's distance to the credit union's nearest service facility. NCUA 4015-EZ VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00081 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 PAGE1 E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 ER07DE16.040</GPH> asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES D 88492 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations 5. Single Common Bond Expansions Only: How the group shares the occupational or associational common bond _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ 6. How many primary potential members (excluding immediate family and household members) are in the group: _ _ Name and title of credit union board-authorized representative (e.g., President/CEO): (Signature) (Date) PAGE2 NCUA 4015-EZ VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00082 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 ER07DE16.041</GPH> asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES (Typed/Printed Name and Title) Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations 88493 NOTICE OF MEETING OF MEMBERS TO CONVERT FROM A FEDERAL TO A STATE CHARTERED CREDIT UNION _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ FEDERAL CREDIT UNION (City) (State) THIS PROPOSITION WILL BE DECIDED BY A MAJORITY OF THE MEMBERS WHO VOTE. Notice is hereby given that a meeting of the members o f - - - - - - - - Federal Credit Union has been called and will be held at._ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ on , at o'clock, .M. for the purpose of considering and voting upon the following resolution: "RESOLVED, That the Federal Credit Union be converted to a credit union chartered under the laws of the State of _ _ _ _ _ _and that its operation under Federal charter be discontinued. RESOLVED FURTHER, That the board of directors and the officers of this credit union and are hereby authorized and directed to do all things necessary to effect and to complete the conversion of this credit union from a Federal to State-chartered credit union." NCUA4221 VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00083 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 PAGE 1 E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 ER07DE16.042</GPH> asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES The board of directors of this credit union has given careful consideration to the advantages and the disadvantages of the proposed conversion and believes it to be in the best interest of the members for the following reasons: 88494 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations The proposed conversion would result in the following disadvantages or adverse changes in services and benefits to the members of the credit union: The proposed conversion would result in the following costs of conversion (i.e. changing the credit unions name, examination and operating fees, attorney and consulting fees, tax liability, etc.): The board of directors recommends that the members approve the proposal to convert to a State charter. NCUA4221 VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00084 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 PAGE2 E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 ER07DE16.043</GPH> asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES The members' accounts willilvill not .,tinue to be insured by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund. Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations 88495 Attached is your ballot. You are urged to bring your ballot to the meeting and to cast your vote after hearing the discussion of the proposal. If you cannot attend the meeting, you are urged to mark your vote, date and sign your ballot, and return it to the following address by no later than the date and the time announced for the meeting of the members: BY ORDER OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS TITLE:-------(CHAIRPERSON) _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _(Date) NCUA4221 VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00085 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 PAGE3 E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 ER07DE16.044</GPH> asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES Issued TITLE:-------(BOARD SECRETARY) 88496 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations APPLICATION TO CONVERT FROM A STATE TO A FEDERAL CREDIT UNION The Credit Union of (city), (State), incorporated under the laws of the State of on by decision of its board of directors, hereby makes application to the National Credit Union Administration to convert to a Federal credit union. 1. Field of membership. Provide a copy of the credit union's charter, articles of incorporation or bylaws, as amended to date. 2. Is proposed Federal charter to cover same field of membership? Yes No If answer is "No," explain fully: - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 3. Standard financial and statistical reports as of or comparable forms of reports, certified correct by the treasurer and verified by the affidavit of the president or vice-president, are attached. 4. A schedule of delinquent loans classified 2 to 6 months, 6 to 12 months, and 12 months and over delinquent is attached. 5. The following policies on loans to members are currently in effect in this credit union: a. Interest rates on loans: _ _ __ b. Charges incident to making loans which are passed on to borrowers: _ _ __ c. Maturity limits: - - - - - - - - - - d. Unsecured loan limit: _ _ _ _ _ __ e. Secured loan limit: - - - - - - - f. Types of security a c c e p t e d : - - - - - - - - - - - 6. Attached is a list of unsecured loans in excess of the amounts stipulated in the Act. (For each loan show account number, original amount, terms, and unpaid balance.) 1. NCUA4401 VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00086 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 PAGE 1 E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 ER07DE16.045</GPH> asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES g. Requirements of amortization (Repayment requirements): - - - - - - - Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations 88497 7. Attached is a list of loans with maturities in excess of periods stipulated in the Act and the NCUA Rules and Regulations. (For each loan show account number, original amount, terms, unpaid balance, and security.) 8. Types of accounts which members are required or are permitted to maintain: Share Deposit Other (describe): - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 9. Describe any real estate owned by credit union, including a list of its current market value: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ ___ 10. Describe and list any investments which are outside of the investment powers of Federal credit unions (Refer to Section 107(7), Federal Credit Union Act): _ _ __ 11. Names and locations of any depository institutions in which the credit union deposits its funds but which are beyond the purview of deposit powers authorized by Section 107(8) of the Federal Credit Union Act: - - - - - - - - - - - - 12. Describe any services rendered to or on behalf of members or of the public, other than accepting and maintaining accounts of members and making loans to members: 13. Describe what you propose to do about any policies, procedures, assets or liabilities which do not comply with the Federal Credit Union Act: - - - - - - - - 14. Give specific reasons as to why you desire to convert to a Federal credit union: NCUA4401 VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00087 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 PAGE2 E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 ER07DE16.046</GPH> asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES We hereby authorize the National Credit Union Administration to examine our books and our records. 88498 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations Chief Executive Officer and Offic er of the of State of weare Chairperson and the Chief Financial Officer, respectfully, of said credit union; that the statements made in this Application to Convert from a State to a Federal Credit Union and the schedules attached hereto are true, complete, and correct to the best of our knowledge and belief and are made in good faith. TITLE:--------(CHAIRPERSON) NCUA4401 VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00088 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 PAGE3 E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 ER07DE16.047</GPH> asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES TITLE:--------(CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER) Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations 88499 AFFIDAVIT PROOF OF RESULTS OF MEMBERSHIP VOTE - PROPOSED CONVERSION FROM FEDERAL CREDIT UNION TO STATE CREDIT UNION We, the undersigned_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _chairperson and _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _secretary of t h e - - - - - - - - - - Federal Credit Union, hereby swear or affirm as follows: 1. That the conversion proposal as set forth in the attached Notice of Meeting of the Members was fully explained to the members present at said meeting of members. 2. That on the date of the said meeting of members there were____members of this credit union qualified to vote; ____members were present at said meeting; of those members present, conversion and members voted in favor of the members voted against the conversion; of those members not present at the meeting but who filed ballots, members voted in favor of the conversion and ____members voted against the conversion; and that, without duplication of the votes of any member, a total of_ _ _members voted in favor of the conversion and _ _ _ _members NCUA4505 VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00089 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 PAGE 1 E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 ER07DE16.048</GPH> asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES voted against the conversion. 88500 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations 3. That the action of the members of this credit union at said meeting is fully and completely recorded in the minutes of said meeting and all ballots cast by the members on the question of conversion, either at the meeting or by delivery to the credit union, are on file with the secretary of this credit union. TITLE:-------(CHAIRPERSON) TITLE:-------(BOARD SECRETARY) FEDERAL CREDIT UNION Subscribed before me, an officer competent to administer oaths, at _ _ _ __ ----------'this-----------------(day) (month) (year) Signed--------(SEAL) Title----------(Notary Public or other competent officer) NCUA4505 VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00090 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 PAGE2 E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 ER07DE16.049</GPH> asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES My Commission Expires_ _ _ _ _ __ (year) Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations 88501 FEDERAL TO STATE CONVERSION BALLOT FOR CONVERSION PROPOSAL I have read the notice concerning the meeting of the members of the _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Federal Credit Union called for to consider and to vote upon the following proposition: "RESOLVED, That the Federal Credit Union be converted to a credit union chartered under the laws of the State of and operation under Federal Charter Number be discontinued. RESOLVED FURTHER, That the board of directors and the officers of this credit union are hereby authorized and directed to do all things necessary to effect and to complete the conversion of this credit union from a Federal to State-chartered credit union." I hereby cast my vote on the proposition: (Place an X in the square opposite the appropriate statement.) I vote for the conversion I vote against the conversion (Account Number) (Signature of Member) NCUA4506 VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00091 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 ER07DE16.050</GPH> asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES Date:-------- 88502 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations APPLICATION AND AGREEMENTS FOR INSURANCE OF ACCOUNTS Date:------TO: The National Credit Union Administration Board (Board) The proposed _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Federal Credit Union (Street Address) (City) (State) (Zip Code) applies for insurance of its accounts as provided in Title II of the Federal Credit Union Act, and in consideration of the granting of insurance, hereby agrees: To pay the reasonable cost of such examinations as the Board may deem necessary in connection with determining the eligibility of the application for insurance. 2. To permit and pay the reasonable cost of such examinations as in the judgment of the Board may from time to time be necessary for the protection of the fund and other insured credit unions. 3. To permit the Board to have access to any information or report with respect to any examination made by or for any public regulatory authority and furnish such additional information with respect thereto as the Board may require. 4. To provide protection and indemnity against burglary, defalcation, and other similar insurable losses, of the type, in the form, and in an amount at least equal to that required by the laws under which the credit union is organized and operates. 5. To maintain such special reserves as the Board, by regulation or in special cases, may require for protecting the interest of members. 6. Not to issue or have outstanding any account or security the form of which, by regulation or in special cases, has not been approved by the Board. 7. To pay and maintain the capitalization deposit required by Title II of the Federal Credit Union Act. 8. To pay the premium charges for insurance imposed by Title II of the Federal Credit Union Act. NCUA 9500 VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00092 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 PAGE 1 E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 ER07DE16.051</GPH> asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES 1. PAGE2 NCUA 9500 VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00093 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 88503 07DER4 ER07DE16.052</GPH> asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations 88504 9. Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations To comply with the requirements of Title II of the Federal Credit Union Act and of regulations prescribed by the Board pursuant thereto. 10. To permit the Board to have access to all records and information concerning the affairs of the credit union and to furnish such information pertinent thereto that the Board may require. 11. To comply with Title 18 of the United States Code and other pertinent Federal statutes as they may exist or may be hereafter promulgated or amended. We, the undersigned, certify to the correctness of the information submitted. We, the undersigned, further certify that to the best of our knowledge and belief no proposed officer, committee member, or employee of this credit union has been convicted of any criminal offense involving dishonesty or a breach of trust, except as noted in attachments to this application. We further agree to notify the Board if any proposed or future officer commits a criminal offense. Chief Financial Officer Chairperson PAGE3 NCUA 9500 VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00094 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 ER07DE16.053</GPH> asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES Note: A willfully false certification is a criminal offense. U.S. Code, Title 18, Sec. 1001. Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations 88505 CERTIFICATION OF RESOLUTIONS _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ FEDERAL CREDIT UNION (PROPOSED) We certify that we are the duly elected and qualified chief executive officer and recording officer of the above-named proposed Federal credit union and that at the charter-organization meeting, the board of directors passed the following resolution and recorded it in its minutes: "Be it resolved that this credit union apply to the National Credit Union Administration Board for insurance of its accounts as provided in Title II of the Federal Credit Union Act. Be it further resolved that the president and treasurer be authorized and directed to execute the Application and Agreements for Insurance of Accounts as prescribed by the Board and any other papers and documents required in connection therewith; to pay all expenses and do all other things necessary or proper to secure and continue in force such insurance." Chief Executive Officer NCUA 9501 VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00095 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 PAGE 1 E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 ER07DE16.054</GPH> asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES Recording Officer, Board of Directors 88506 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations INFORMATION TO BE PROVIDED IN SUPPORT OF THE APPLICATION OF A STATE CHARTERED CREDIT UNION FOR INSURANCE OF ACCOUNTS Existing credit unions must complete the entire application. All other applicants do not have to complete questions 8, 11, 12, 13, 15, and 16. _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _Credit Union 1. Show below the location of the credit union's books and records. (Street Address) (City) (Zip) (State) (Telephone) 2. Show the date (month, day, year) in which the credit union was chartered. 3. Attach a copy of the credit union's field of membership as shown in the charter, articles of incorporation and/or bylaws, as amended to date. Please identify it as the first schedule in the consecutive number sequence as discussed in the instructions. Schedule No. _ _ _ __ 4. Potential membership (total number of persons who could be served including present members). _ _ __ 5. Identify charter type (e.g., single common bond, multiple common bond, community).------------------ 6. Does the credit union operate under standard bylaws provided by the state supervisory authority? Yes No (Complete a.) Iiiii a. Attach a copy of the current official bylaws under which the credit union operated. Schedule No. _ _ __ 7. Is the credit union under any administrative restraints by the State Supervisory Authority? Yes No (Complete a.) a. Explain fully on an attached schedule. Schedule No. _ _ _ __ Page 1 NCUA9600 VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00096 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 ER07DE16.055</GPH> asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES a. Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations 8. Attach a copy of the latest State supervisory authority examination. Copies of any correspondence from the accountant's report if made in lieu of a State supervisory authority examination. Copies of any correspondence from the State supervisory authority which accompanied the examination report should also be included. 9. Attach copies of the Balance Sheet and Statement of Income and Expense (or Financial and Statistical Report) for the month preceding the date of this application and for the same month of the preceding year. Schedule Nos. _ __ 10. 88507 Reserves Show below the requirements of the State law and/or your bylaws for transfer of earnings to reserves (either monthly or at the end of each accounting period). 11. Delinquent Loans and Charged-off Loans a. Attach a copy of the delinquent loan list as of the month-end preceding the date of this application. See instructions pertaining to Item No.11a. Schedule No. _ __ b. List below the requested information on delinquent loans for the latest four calendar quarters preceding the date of the application (March 31, June 30, September 30 and December 31 ). Also show total share and loan balances for all members for the same period. (a) *Other Delinquent Categories (b) Delinquent Categories 2 to less than 6mos. 6 to less than 12 mos. 12 mos. and over Date Date Date Date $ $ $ Totals $ Share Balances $ Loan Balances $ NCUA9600 VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00097 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 Page2 E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 ER07DE16.056</GPH> asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES *See instructions pertaining to Item No. 11 b. 88508 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations c. List below the requested information on loans charged off during the last three years and the current year. List total of all reserves both revocable and irrevocable for the same period as (balance at year-end and or current period). Year Year *Totals Since Organization Current Yr. To Date Year Total Charged Off Total Recovered Net Charged Off *If th1s mformat1on 1s available. 12. Does the credit union have any unrecorded or contingent liabilities, (including pending law suits or civil actions)? Yes liil No Complete a. a. List on an attached schedule the complete description of such liabilities, including amounts, status of the items, and a description of the circumstances creating the liabilities or contingent liabilities. Schedule No. 13. Do any asset accounts other than loans to members, investments, and real estate have actual values less than the book values shown on the Balance Sheet? List on a separate schedule a description of such assets, showing at least the following information; account number, description of item, book value and actual value. Schedule No. _ __ 14. List below or on an attached schedule, any investments or real estate as discussed in the instructions pertaining to Item No. 14. Schedule No. .1 Attach a copy of the credit union's current investment policies. Investments/Loans to Credit Union Service Organization (CUSO) should be listed separately. Current Market Value Current Book Value NCUA9600 VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00098 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 Page3 E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 ER07DE16.057</GPH> asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES Description of Item Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations 88509 15.1ndividual Share and Loan Ledgers: a. Were the totals of the trial balance of the individual share and loan ledgers in agreement with the balances of the respective general ledger control accounts as of the month-end preceding the date of this application? _ _ _ _ _ __ b. What are the differences as of the month and preceding the date of this application? Balances in General Ledger Totals of the trial balance of the individual ledgers Differences 16. Supervisory Committee: a. What is the effective date of the last complete comprehensive annual audit performed by the supervisory committee? Effective Date _ _ _ __ (1} If the effective date of the annual audit is not within the last 18 months what is the supervisory committee's target date for completion of a comprehensive audit? Date _ _ __ b. Show the effective date of the supervisory committee's last controlled verification of all members' accounts: Effective Date _ _ __ (1} If all members' accounts have not been verified under controlled conditions during the last two years, what is the supervisory committee's target date for completion of the verification program? Date _ _ __ c. If it is necessary to complete either 16a(1} or 16 b(1}; please describe the directors' plans for seeing that the target dates are met. (Discuss below or on an attached schedule.} Schedule No. _ _ _ __ NCUA9600 VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00099 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 Page4 E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 ER07DE16.058</GPH> asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES a. 88510 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations 17. List below the credit union's surety bond coverage. a. Name of carrier _ __ b. Standard form number ofthe bond (i.e., 23, 576, 577, 578, 581, 562 CU-1, other) _ _ __ c. Basic amount of coverage$_ _ _ __ d. Bond premium paid to ( d a t e ) - - - - - e. What is the amount of coverage required by State law or your bylaws? f. Riders to the bond (list below) (i.e., faithful performance, forgery, misplacement, etc.) 18. Does the credit union render any services to or perform any functions on behalf of the members, non-members, organizations, or the public other than the usual savings and loan services for members? _ _ __ Attach a schedule describing each activity in full. Schedule No. _ _ __ 19. Does the board of directors or management know of any adverse economic condition that is affecting or will affect the credit union's present or future operation or that of the sponsor organization? Attach a schedule describing the condition and its possible effect on the credit union's future. Schedule No. _ _ _ _ __ 20. To the best of the credit union's knowledge and belief, has any director, officer, committee member, or employee been convicted of any criminal offense involving dishonesty or breach of trust? _ _ _ _ __ a. Attach a statement describing the circumstances. Schedule No. 21. Lending policies and practices: b. Complete the following schedule of largest loans with the attached instructions pertaining to Item No. 21. a. NCUA9600 VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00100 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 Page5 E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 ER07DE16.059</GPH> asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES a. Complete the following schedule showing the present policies and practices on loans to members. Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations 88511 LENDING POLICIES AND PRACTICES Maximum Loan Amount Maximum Period of Required Amount of Down Payment 1. Credit Union Policies and Practices a. Unsecured Loan Limits b. Secured Loan Limits (1} New Auto Collateral (2} Used Auto Collateral (3} Real Estate (a} First Mortgage (b) Second Mortgage (4} Comakers (5} Others (describe} c. Loans to Organizations d. Loans to Directors, Officers, or Committee Members 2. State Credit Union Law; Bylaws a. Unsecured Loan Limits b. Secured Loan Limits NCUA9600 VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00101 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 PageS E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 ER07DE16.060</GPH> asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES c. Loans to Directors, Officers, or Committee Members 88512 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations List on an attached page, any additional policies, including the interest rates applied to members' loans and the method of assessing and accounting for interest income, i.e.: add-on, discount or unpaid balance. rnrllt:~~1r~:~> SCHEDULE OF LARGEST LOANS this form as discussed in the instructions Collateral *If there is more than one type of collateral assign value to each type. Page7 NCUA9600 VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00102 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 ER07DE16.061</GPH> asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES Repayment Status Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations 88513 CREDIT UNION SERVICE ORGANIZATION (CUSO) 1. Name of CUSO - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 2. Date of CUSO'S Organization - - - - - - - - - - (Date of obtaining charter from State) 3. Type of organization (check one): a. General Partnership c. Joint Ownership b. Limited Partnership d. Corporation 4. Owners of CUSO (list name, charter number if FCU, and percentage of ownership, if possible). a·----------~~-~-~-=~~~Name Charter Number (If FCU) % b. ______________________ Charter Number (If FCU) Name % (Continue on reverse side if additional space is required) 5. Capitalization (list investors and amount of investment in CUSO). a·----------~--~---=~~-Name Charter Number (If FCU) b·----------~--~-~~~~-Name Charter Number (If FCU) Amount Amount (Continue on reverse side if additional space is required) PageS NCUA9600 VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00103 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 ER07DE16.062</GPH> asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES 6. List all known services which are being offered by CUSO (be as specific as possible). _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ 88514 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations 7. Comments (include all other pertinent information, if applicable, not previously discussed)·------------------------------------------------------ 8. Attach the latest Financial and Statistical Report of CUSO, if available. NCUA9600 VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00104 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 Page9 E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 ER07DE16.063</GPH> asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES 1. Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations 88515 FORM 9600 INSTRUCTIONS APPLICATION OF A STATE CHARTERED CREDIT UNION FOR INSURANCE OF ACCOUNTS Existing credit unions must complete the entire application. All other applicants do not have to complete questions 8, 11, 12, 13, 15, and 16. Existing credit unions must submit current policies and financial statements as noted in the application. All other applicants must submit proposed policies and pro forma financial statements for the first and second year of operation. When an item specifies that a schedule should be prepared and attached, please assign a schedule number in consecutive order, starting with number one. Please show the schedule number at the top right-hand corner of the schedule. asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES Some of the items are self-explanatory and require no special instructions. Other items, however, need special explanations, definitions, and instructions for completion. These are listed below, identified by the same item numbers as appear in Exhibit A. Item No. 10: Reserves: The term "reserves" means that account, or accounts, which represents segregated portions of earnings as provided by the law, bylaws, and/or the credit union's management for the absorption of losses relating to loans to members. Item No. 11 a: The delinquent loan list requested should include, for each delinquent loan, the account number of the borrower, date of loan, original amount of loan, unpaid balance, date of last payment of principle, excluding transfers from pledged shares, collateral, and comments regarding the collectibility of each loan in the categories 6 months to less than 12 months and 12 months and over. Payments of interest only should be so identified. Item No. 11b: The schedule provided for the delinquent loan information is set up in delinquency categories of 2 months to less than 6 months, 6 to less than 12 months, and 12 months and over. Credit unions that compute delinquency using categories other than shown in column (b) may use these other categories and show them in column (a). Credit unions using column (a) need not show the delinquencies in the column (b) categories. It is not necessary to report on loans which are delinquent less than 2 months. Adverse Trends: If items 8, 9, or 11 indicate adverse trends such as significant decreases in shares, loans or reserves, increases in loan delinquency or loan charge-offs, or unresolved serious exceptions shown in the State examination report, the credit union may attach an explanation and identify it as "Explanation of Adverse Trends or Unresolved NCUA9600 VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00105 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 Page 10 E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 ER07DE16.064</GPH> The application and all supporting documents should be prepared, photocopied, and submitted in accordance with these instructions. Additional schedules may be included if deemed appropriate. 88516 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations Examination Exceptions" and assign it a schedule number. below has been shown. The number of such loans to be listed will be determined as follows: Item No. 14: This item need be completed only if the credit union owns any of the following: If your credit union has the following no. of outstanding loans A. Investments in U.S. Government securities guaranteed as to principle and interest or Federal Agency securities, the market value of which is now less than the book value. You should list the following no. of the largest unpaid balances 5 10 15 20 Under 100 100 to 199 200 to 299 300 to 399 400 or more B. Real estate other than that used entirely for the credit union's own office(s). 25 C. Other investments of any type except: proceed in descending order by dollar amount until the number specified 1. Loans to other credit unions. 2. Certificates of, or accounts in, federally insured financial institutions. 3. Deposits or accounts in corporate credit unions. If corporate bonds are listed, please show maturity date, rate of interest on bonds and current yield rate. If stocks are listed, please show number of shares and bid price. Item No. 21 b: In selecting the largest loans for this Exhibit, list the largest outstanding unpaid loan balance and NCUA9600 VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00106 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 Page 11 E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 ER07DE16.065</GPH> asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES Please identify the source of the market valuation information and the date of such information. Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations 88517 If any of the above loans are delinquent, please show the number of months delinquent in the appropriate "Status of Re-payment" column. Complete the Credit Union Service Organization (CUSO) schedule for each investment/loan to a CUSO. TERMINATION OF INSURANCE NCUA9600 VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00107 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 Page 12 E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 ER07DE16.066</GPH> asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES Should the credit union, after obtaining insurance of member accounts, desire to terminate its insured status, this could be accomplished by complying with the provisions of Section 206(a), (c) and (d) of Title II of the Federal Credit Union Act. This action would require approval by a vote of the majority of the members, and ninety days written notice of the proposed termination date to NCUA. Member accounts would continue to be insured for one year following termination of insurance and the insurance premium Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations would be paid during that period. After termination of insurance, the credit union shall give prompt and reasonable notice to all members whose accounts are insured that it has ceased to be an insured credit union. asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES Sections 206(a)(2) and 206(d)(2) and (3) of the Act provide that an insured credit union may also terminate its insurance by converting from its status as an insured credit union under the Act to insurance from a corporation authorized and duly licensed to insure member accounts. In this event, approval is required by a majority of all the directors and by affirmative vote of a majority of the members voting, provided that at least 20 percent of the members have voted on the proposition. Under this provision for termination, insurance of member accounts would cease as of the date of termination. NCUA9600 VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00108 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 Page 13 E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 ER07DE16.067</GPH> 88518 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations 88519 APPLICATION AND AGREEMENTS FOR INSURANCE OF ACCOUNTS STATE CHARTERED CREDIT UNION TO: The National Credit Union Administration Board The Date _ _ _ __ Credit Union, Insurance Certificate Number (if applicable) (mailing address) (city) (state) (zip code) applies for insurance of its accounts as provided in Title II of the Federal Credit Union Act, and in consideration of the granting of insurance, hereby agrees: 1. To permit and pay the cost of such examinations as the NCUA Board deems necessary for the protection of the interests of the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund. on Federal Credit Unions by Part 702 of NCUA's regulations, and to maintain such special reserves as the NCUA Board may be regulation or on a case-by-case basis determine are necessary to protect the interests of members. Any waivers of the statutory reserve or full and fair disclosure requirements or any direct charges to the statutory reserve other than loss loans must have the prior written approval of the NCUA Board. In addition, corporate credit unions shall be subject to the reserve requirements specified in Part 704 of NCUA's regulations. 2. To permit the Board to have access to all records and information concerning the affairs of the credit union, including any information or report related to an examination made by or for any other regulating authority, and to furnish such records, information, and reports upon request of the NCUA Board. 4. To meet, at a minimum, the statutory reserve and full and fair disclosure requirements imposed 5. Not to issue or have outstanding any account or security the form of which has not been approved by the NCUA Board, except accounts authorized by state law for state credit unions. 1. NCUA9600 VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00109 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 Page 14 E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 ER07DE16.068</GPH> asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES 3. To possess such fidelity coverage and such coverage against burglary, robbery, and other losses as is required by Parts 713 and 741 of NCUA's regulations. 88520 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations 6. To maintain the deposit and pay the insurance premium charges imposed as a condition of insurance pursuant to Title II (Share Insurance) of the Federal Credit Union Act. from sources other than other credit unions and public units, such nonmember accounts shall be identified as nonmember shares or deposits on any statement or report required by the NCUA Board for insurance purposes. Immediately after a state-chartered credit union receives notice from NCUA that its member accounts are federally insured, the credit union will advise any present nonmember share and deposit holders by letter that their accounts are not insured by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund. Also, future nonmember share and deposit fund holders will be so advised by letter as they open accounts. 7. To comply with the requirement of Title II (Share Insurance) of the Federal Credit Union Act and of regulations prescribed by the NCUA Board pursuant thereto. 8. For any investments other than loans to members and obligations or securities expressly authorized in Title I of the Federal Credit Union Act, as amended to establish now and maintain at the end of each accounting period and prior to payment of any dividend, an Investment Valuation Reserve Account in an amount at least equal to the net excess of book value over current market value of the investments. If the market value cannot be determined, an amount equal to the full book value will be established. When, as of the end of any dividend period, the amount in the Investment Valuation Reserve exceeds the difference between book value and market value, the board of directors may authorize the transfer of the excess to Undivided Earnings. 9. When a state-chartered credit union is permitted by state law to accept nonmember shares or deposits 10. In the event a state-chartered credit union chooses to terminate its status as a federally-insured credit union, then it shall meet the requirements imposed by Sections 206(a)(1) and 206(c) of the Federal Credit Union Act and Part 741.208 of NCUA's regulations. 11. In the event a state-chartered credit union chooses to convert from federal insurance to some other insurance from a corporation authorized and duly licensed to insure member accounts, then it shall meet the requirements imposed by Sections 206(a)(2), 206(c), 206(d)(2), and 206(d)(3) of the Federal Credit Union Act and any other applicable federal law. NCUA9600 VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00110 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 Page 15 E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 ER07DE16.069</GPH> asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES 1. Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations 88521 In support of this application we submit the following schedules: Title NCUA9600 VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00111 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 Page 16 E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 ER07DE16.070</GPH> asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES Schedule No. 88522 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations CERTIFICATIONS AND RESOLUTIONS We, the undersigned, certify that we are the duly elected and qualified presiding officer and recording officer of the credit union and that at a properly called and regular or special meeting of its board of directors, at which a quorum was present, the following resolutions were passed and recorded in its minutes: We, the undersigned, certify to the correctness of the information submitted. Be it resolved that this credit union apply to the National Credit Union Administration Board for insurance of its accounts as provided in Title II of the Federal Credit Union Act. Be it resolved that the presiding officer and recording officer be authorized and directed to execute the Application and Agreement for Insurance of Accounts as prescribed by the NCUA Board and any other papers and documents required in connection therewith and to pay all expenses and do all such other things necessary or proper to secure and continue in force such insurance. We further certify that to the best of our knowledge and belief no existing or proposed officer, committee member, or employee of this credit union has been convicted of any criminal offense involving dishonesty or breach of trust, except as noted in attachments to this application. We further agree to notify the Board if any existing, proposed or future officer, committee member or employee is indicted for such an offense. (Signature) Chairperson, Board of Directors (Print or type Chairperson's Name) (Signature) Secretary, Board of Directors NCUA9600 VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00112 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 Page 17 E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 ER07DE16.071</GPH> asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES (Print or type Secretary's Name) Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations 88523 Credit Union National Association (CUNA) www.cuna.org P.O. Box 431 Madison, WI 53701 800-356-9655 National Association of Federal Credit Unions (NAFCU) www.nafcu.org 3138 N. 10th Street, Suite 300 Arlington, VA 22201-2149 800-336-4644 National Association of State Credit Union Supervisors (NASCUS) www.nascus.org 1655 North Fort Myer Drive Suite 650 Arlington, VA 22209 703-528-8351 National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions (NFCDCU) www.cdcu.coop E-1 [FR Doc. 2016–26956 Filed 12–6–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7535–01–C VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:54 Dec 06, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00113 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 9990 E:\FR\FM\07DER4.SGM 07DER4 ER07DE16.072</GPH> asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES 39 Broadway, Suite 2140 New York, NY 10006-3063 212-809-1850

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 235 (Wednesday, December 7, 2016)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 88412-88523]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-26956]



[[Page 88411]]

Vol. 81

Wednesday,

No. 235

December 7, 2016

Part IV





 National Credit Union Administration





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12 CFR Part 701





Chartering and Field of Membership Manual; Final Rule

Federal Register / Vol. 81 , No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / 
Rules and Regulations

[[Page 88412]]


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NATIONAL CREDIT UNION ADMINISTRATION

12 CFR Part 701

RIN 3133-AE31


Chartering and Field of Membership Manual

AGENCY: National Credit Union Administration (NCUA).

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: The NCUA Board is comprehensively amending its chartering and 
field of membership rules to maximize access to federal credit union 
services to the extent permitted by law, and to organize the rules in a 
more efficient framework. The amendments will implement changes in 
policy affecting: The definition of a local community, a rural 
district, and an underserved area; the chartering and expansion of a 
multiple common bond credit union; the expansion of a single common 
bond credit union that serves a trade, industry or profession; and the 
process for applying to charter, or to expand, a federal credit union.

DATES: The effective date of this final rule is February 6, 2017.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Matthew Biliouris, Deputy Director, or 
Robert Leonard, Director, Division of Consumer Access, or Rita Woods, 
Director, Division of Consumer Access South, Office of Consumer 
Protection, at the above address or telephone (703) 518-1140; or Senior 
Staff Attorney Steven Widerman, or Staff Attorney Marvin Shaw, Office 
of General Counsel, at the above address or telephone (703) 518-6540.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background
II. Summary of Comments on Proposed Rule
III. Regulatory Procedures

I. Background

    NCUA's Chartering and Field of Membership Manual, incorporated as 
Appendix B to part 701 of its regulations (``Chartering Manual''),\1\ 
implements the field of membership (``FOM'') requirements and 
limitations established by the Federal Credit Union Act (``the Act'') 
for federal credit unions (each an ``FCU'').\2\ As amended by the 
Credit Union Membership Access Act of 1998 (``CUMAA''), the Act 
provides a choice among three charter types: a single common bond 
consisting of a group whose members all share the same occupational or 
associational common bond; \3\ a multiple common bond in which each 
group has a distinct occupational or associational common bond among 
its own members; \4\ and a community common bond among persons or 
organizations within a well-defined local community, neighborhood, or a 
rural district.\5\
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    \1\ Appendix B to 12 CFR part 701 (``Appendix B'').
    \2\ 12 U.S.C. 1759.
    \3\ Id. Sec.  1759(b)(1).
    \4\ Id. Sec.  1759(b)(2)(A).
    \5\ Id. Sec.  1759(b)(3).
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    To facilitate consumer access to credit unions and to enhance their 
delivery of services as the Act contemplates, the Board periodically 
modifies and updates the Chartering Manual to advance certain 
objectives. Among these are relief from undue burdens and restrictions 
on an FCU's ability to provide services to consumers who are eligible 
for FCU membership, especially to benefit those of modest means; 
enhancement of the menu of strategic options for FOM expansions; and 
maximization of competitive parity between federal and state charters 
to the extent allowed by law, while respecting the national system of 
dual chartering. To serve those objectives, the Board published a 
proposed rule in December 2015 requesting public comment on fifteen 
substantive modifications to the rules affecting each of the three FOM 
types that the Act authorizes.\6\
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    \6\ 80 FR 76748 (December 10, 2015).
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    As explained below, this final rule will implement proposed 
modifications to the rule affecting: The definition of a local 
community, a rural district, and an underserved area; the expansion of 
a multiple common bond credit union; the expansion of a single common 
bond credit union that serves a trade, industry or profession; and the 
type and extent of information that must be submitted to support an 
application to charter or expand an FCU's FOM.

II. Summary of Comments on Proposed Rule

    NCUA received approximately 11,380 comments on the proposed rule: 
31 from national and regional credit union trade associations and 
leagues; 99 from individual FCUs; 14 from federally-insured state-
chartered credit unions; 8291 from individual credit union members; 14 
from national and regional bank trade associations; 6 from individual 
banks; 2925 from individual bank customers; and 6 from other 
commenters.\7\ The commenters generally supported the proposed rule by 
a ratio of approximately 3 to 1, mostly without reference to a specific 
proposal and without suggesting alternatives or modifications.
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    \7\ Among credit union- and bank-affiliated commenters combined, 
98 percent of the 11,380 comments consisted of form letters, with 
minimal original content and often submitted by a third party vendor 
on the commenter's behalf.
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A. Community Common Bond

    The Act limits membership in a community credit union to 
``[p]ersons or organizations within a well-defined local community, 
neighborhood, or rural district,'' \8\ directing the Board to establish 
criteria defining those terms for purposes of ``making any 
determination'' regarding such a credit union,\9\ and to establish 
applicable criteria for any such determination.\10\ The Act does not 
impose for any of the three community categories a maximum limitation 
on population or geographic size, thus supporting the Board's 
observation that ``there is no statutory requirement or economic 
rationale that compels the Board to charter only the smallest [well-
defined local community] in a particular area.'' \11\
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    \8\ 12 U.S.C. 1759(b).
    \9\ Id. Sec.  1759(g)(1)(A).
    \10\ Id. Sec.  1759(g)(1)(B).
    \11\ 74 FR 68722, 68725 (Dec. 29, 2009).
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    To qualify as a well-defined local community (``WDLC'') or as a 
rural district, the Board requires a proposed area to have ``specific 
geographic boundaries,'' \12\ and for residents within those boundaries 
to interact or share common interests that signify a cohesive 
community. Since 2010, the Board has offered two ``presumptive 
community'' options that by definition meet the statutory criteria of a 
WDLC. Each is based on uniform, objective geographic units. One is a 
``Single Political Jurisdiction . . . or any individual portion 
thereof'' (each an ``SPJ''), regardless of population.\13\ The other is 
a single Core Based Statistical Area (``CBSA'' or ``a statistical 
area,'' or a portion thereof) as designated by the U.S. Census Bureau 
(``Census''), or a Metropolitan Division within a CBSA, subject in 
either case to a 2.5 million population limit.\14\
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    \12\ Appendix B, Ch. 2, Sec.  V.A.2.
    \13\ Appendix B, Ch. 2, Sec.  V.A.2.
    \14\ Appendix B, Ch. 2, Sec.  V.A.2. According to the Census, 
``the term `core-based statistical area' became effective in 2003 
and refers collectively to metropolitan statistical areas and 
micropolitan statistical areas.'' https://www.census.gov/geo/reference/gtc/gtc_cbsa.html#md.
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    1. ``Core Based Statistical Area'' Population Limit. The existing 
2.5 million population limit that applies to a community consisting of 
a CBSA, or a Metropolitan Division or other portion within, conforms to 
the population threshold by which the Office of Management and Budget 
(``OMB'') designates Metropolitan Divisions

[[Page 88413]]

within a CBSA.\15\ The proposed rule retained the 2.5 million limit, 
but solicited public comment on whether to adjust it, to what amount, 
and for what specific reasons.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \15\ https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/bulletins/2015/15-01.pdf (at page 62).
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    The vast majority of commenters urged the Board to eliminate the 
population cap on statistical areas altogether because the Act does not 
mandate it. They maintained that an area's population is unrelated to 
what should be the paramount considerations in identifying a local 
community, namely, interaction or common interests among residents, and 
the FCU's ability and commitment to serve the area. The commenters also 
contended that, by imposing a population limit, the Board is 
substituting its judgment for Census data, by which CBSAs are 
designated without regard to population, and that population alone is 
not a source of undue risk to an FCU or to the National Credit Union 
Share Insurance Fund (``the Insurance Fund''). Finally, some commenters 
protested that a population cap on statistical areas puts FCUs at a 
competitive disadvantage compared to communities consisting of an SPJ, 
which are not limited by population.
    Some commenters advocated increasing the present cap from 2.5 
million to between 3.5 million and as much as 5 million, respectively, 
to ensure the long-term growth and viability of FCUs in general. Others 
urged increasing the population limit to match that of the most 
populous SPJ the Board has approved (Los Angeles County, CA, at 10 
million), or that of the nation's most populous Metropolitan 
Statistical Area (New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA Metro Area at 
20 million). One commenter recommended linking the population limit to 
an appropriate index that would trigger periodic reevaluation and 
possible adjustment of the existing limit.
    In contrast, dozens of commenters criticized the existing 2.5 
million cap as being too high, urging that it be reduced. One insisted 
that the 2.5 million cap is not a credible ``indicator of common, 
close-knit interaction.'' Another predicted that an area as populous as 
10 million could qualify as a local community as long as its residents 
``interact in some way . . . within lines drawn by NCUA.'' Yet another 
criticized the Board for implying that the existing 2.5 million cap is 
too low only by comparison to the most populous SPJs the Board has 
approved (e.g., Los Angeles County, CA, and Harris County, TX).
    The Board finds considerable merit in commenters' suggestions to 
eliminate the population cap, increase the present population cap to a 
given amount, tie the cap to the population of a certain geographic 
unit, or administer any cap according to a framework of oversight and 
internal controls. Out of concern that the public should have notice 
and an opportunity to address such recommendations, as the 
Administrative Procedure Act requires,\16\ the Board has decided to 
make no change to the existing 2.5 million population cap at this time. 
Instead, the Board will issue a proposal soliciting public comment on 
alternatives to modify the cap, and an alternative to the ``presumptive 
community'' options to form a WDLC.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \16\ 5 U.S.C. 553(c).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    2. ``Core Area'' Service Requirement. Since 2010, the Board has 
required a community consisting of a portion of a CBSA to include the 
CBSA's ``core area,'' \17\ defined in practice as the most populated 
county or named municipality in a CBSA's title. The Act itself does not 
mandate any such requirement for a community. The proposed rule 
repealed the ``core area'' service requirement in favor of relying on 
NCUA's practice of annually reviewing an FCU's business and marketing 
plans, for the first three years following approval of a community 
charter expansion or conversion, to assess whether the credit union is 
adequately serving the intended beneficiaries of the requirement--
namely low-income and underserved populations within an original or an 
expanded community.\18\
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    \17\ 75 FR 36257, 36260 (June 25, 2010).
    \18\ 80 FR at 76749.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The majority of commenters favored repeal of the ``core area'' 
service requirement, primarily because it is not mandated by the Act 
and thus unnecessarily imposes an additional constraint on who credit 
unions can serve. They further speculated that relief from an 
obligation to serve a ``core area'' will give FCUs the flexibility to 
adapt to the specific area each initially is able to reasonably and 
safely serve, allowing it to establish and maintain a ``marketplace 
footprint'' there. Other commenters criticized the ``core area'' 
service requirement for dividing an otherwise viable community or 
excluding portions that would enhance its viability; for causing an FCU 
to sacrifice service to other areas within the chosen portion of a 
CBSA; and as a disincentive to serve populated urban areas due to the 
additional cost and resources of serving a ``core area.''
    A few commenters suggested alternatives in lieu of applying a 
``core area'' service requirement to a portion of a CBSA. One is to 
permit an FCU to develop a presence, reputation and services to enable 
it to later expand into the ``core area'' of a CBSA. The other is to 
defer to the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions 
and to the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund regarding 
how best to identify and to provide service to low-income and 
underserved populations.\19\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \19\ For Underserved Area purposes, the Act, at 12 U.S.C. 
1759(c)(2)(A)(i), relies on the Community Development Banking and 
Financial Institutions Act, id. Sec.  4702(16)(A), to define an 
``investment area,'' which, among other things, can consist of an 
``empowerment zone'' or ``enterprise community'' as defined by 26 
U.S.C. 1391.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In contrast, bank-affiliated commenters generally favored retaining 
the ``core area'' service requirement. One predicted that its absence 
would effectively permit ``redlining'' through formation of a community 
primarily consisting of wealthier areas within a CBSA, while excluding 
areas where low-income and minority populations are concentrated. 
Another urged the Board to retain the ``core area'' service requirement 
given that, unless expressly required by state law, credit unions 
typically are not subject to the Community Reinvestment Act, which 
requires financial institutions other than credit unions to publicly 
document service to people of modest means.\20\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \20\ 12 U.S.C. 2902(2)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    What critics of repealing the ``core area'' service requirement 
overlook is that NCUA has in place a supervisory process to assess 
management's efforts to offer service to the entire community an FCU 
seeks to serve. NCUA holds credit union management accountable for the 
results of an annual evaluation that encompasses a community FCU's 
implementation of its business and marketing plans,\21\ extending for 
three years after the credit union either is chartered, converts or 
expands. Experience confirms that the agency's evaluations are a more 
effective means of ensuring that the low-income and underserved 
populations are fairly served compared to the rest of the community, in 
contrast to a requirement forcing a credit union to serve the ``core 
area'' of the portion of a CBSA that comprises its community. The Board 
considered extending this review period to five years, but has declined 
to do so,

[[Page 88414]]

believing that three years is sufficient time to gauge a credit union's 
commitment to serve an original or expanded area, and that the 
additional two years of projections would be too stale to be probative.
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    \21\ The results of an annual evaluation of an FCU's 
implementation of its business and marketing plans typically would 
be reflected in the ``findings'' or ``overview'' sections of an 
examination report, or in a ``Document of Resolution'' issued 
following an examination.
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    Another relevant part of the supervisory process is the agency's 
mandate to consider member complaints alleging discriminatory practices 
affecting low-income and underserved populations, such as redlining, 
and to respond as necessary when such practices are shown to exist.
    Having considered the comments addressing repeal of the ``core 
area'' service requirement, and because it is not a requirement 
mandated by the Act, the Board has decided to repeal it in view of 
credit unions' success in providing financial services to low-income 
and underserved populations without regard to where they are located 
within a community, i.e., beyond its ``core area.'' This assessment is 
based on the periodic evaluations, overseen or conducted by the Office 
of Consumer Protection since 2010, of FCUs' implementation of their 
business and marketing plans.\22\ In place of the ``core area'' service 
requirement, the final rule requires NCUA to continue these evaluations 
to ensure fair and adequate service to the low-income and underserved 
populations within a community consisting of a portion of a CBSA.
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    \22\ For communities with a population of less than 1 million, 
NCUA regional offices conduct the review of business and marketing 
plans to assess an FCU's service to the community as a whole, 
including low-income and underserved populations within. They report 
the results to the Office of Consumer Protection semi-annually. For 
communities with a population of 1 million or greater, the Office of 
Consumer Protection itself conducts the review and assessment.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    3. Population Limit as Applied to a Portion of a ``Core Based 
Statistical Area''. The existing rule disqualifies a portion of a CBSA 
as a WDLC when the population of the CBSA as a whole exceeds the 2.5 
million population cap, even when the population of the portion by 
itself does not exceed that limit--an unintended consequence.\23\ To 
correct this oversight, the proposed rule modified the ``statistical 
area'' definition to specify that in the case of a community consisting 
of a portion of either a CBSA or a Metropolitan Division within, the 
portion by itself must have a population of 2.5 million or fewer, 
regardless whether the CBSA or Metropolitan Division as a whole exceeds 
the limit.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \23\ Appendix B, Ch. 2, Sec.  V.A.2. (``statistical area'' 
definition).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The majority of commenters supported this technical remedy in order 
to prevent the unintended disqualification of a portion of a CBSA that 
falls within the population cap solely because the CBSA as a whole 
exceeds it. In that event, an FCU would have no recourse but to serve 
an area smaller than the portion it seeks to serve (e.g., an SPJ 
consisting of a city or town). Although many commenters opposed the 
existing 2.5 million population cap as excessive, none opposed this 
proposal to narrowly apply the cap exclusively to the portion of a CBSA 
that an FCU designates as its community.
    Having considered the comments addressing this proposal, the Board 
considers it an appropriate remedial initiative to limit to the 
population cap adopted in the final rule the portion of a CBSA a credit 
union seeks to serve.
    4. ``Combined Statistical Area'' as a Well-Defined Local Community. 
The existing rule designates two ``presumptive communities'' that by 
definition qualify as a WDLC--an SPJ regardless of population, and a 
CBSA subject to a 2.5 million population limit.\24\ The proposed rule 
added a third ``presumptive community'': A Combined Statistical Area as 
designated by OMB,\25\ subject to the same population limit. The 174 
Combined Statistical Areas that OMB has designated each combine ``two 
or more adjacent CBSAs that have substantial employment interchange.'' 
\26\ As with any community an FCU seeks to serve, a Combined 
Statistical Area would be subject to NCUA's practice of periodically 
reviewing the FCU's implementation of its business and marketing plans 
to assess its capability of, and success in, serving its original or 
previously expanded community.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \24\ 75 FR 36257 (June 25, 2010).
    \25\ OMB Bulletin No. 15-01 to Heads of Executive Departments 
and Establishments (July 15, 2015) at: https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/bulletins/2015/1-01.pdf.
    \26\ U.S. Census Bureau, Geographic Terms and Concepts, at: 
https://www.census.gov/geo/reference/gtc/gtc_cbsa.html#md.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Scores of commenters supported the proposal to recognize Combined 
Statistical Areas as ``presumptive communities,'' concurring that OMB's 
approach in designating Combined Statistical Areas is consistent with 
NCUA's long-standing consideration of factors such as employment, 
commuting patterns and economic interaction to identify a WDLC. These 
commenters further contended that Combined Statistical Areas are 
appropriate ``presumptive communities'' according to social and 
economic integration among residents within them, apart from strict 
population and density numbers, because Combined Statistical Areas 
represent the same ``commonality of substantial employment 
interchange'' that an individual CBSA's residents must have.
    In addition, commenters cited certain benefits of recognizing 
Combined Statistical Areas as ``presumptive communities.'' One is the 
flexibility to serve multiple counties located within a single Combined 
Statistical Area, or to expand a community beyond an individual CBSA's 
boundaries. Another is the opportunity for an FCU serving a single CBSA 
with a population less than 2.5 million to further expand in scope up 
to that limit. Another benefit is the addition of Combined Statistical 
Areas to the menu of safe and sound strategic options for an FCU to 
grow and survive once it reaches a saturation level within its present 
FOM.
    Finally, one commenter supported the recognition of Combined 
Statistical Areas as ``presumptive'' communities as a ``welcomed change 
that is obviously within the confines [of the Act].'' Another cited an 
OMB pronouncement in support of Government agency use of Metropolitan 
and Micropolitan Statistical Area or Combined Statistical Area 
delineations to develop a non-statistical program, as long as the 
agency seeks public comment on the proposed use \27\--as the Board did 
in this rulemaking through the proposed rule.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \27\ OMB Bulletin No. 15-01 supra note 24.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Bank trade associations opposed recognizing Combined Statistical 
Areas as ``presumptive communities.'' One criticized the proposal as 
exceeding the reasonable definition of ``local.'' Others contended that 
a Combined Statistical Area necessarily is too expansive to be 
``local'' because it ``represents larger regions'' that can encompass 
thousands of square miles crossing county and state borders. One 
opponent predicted that Combined Statistical Areas would be used to 
create state-wide FOMs, believing that this was not what Congress 
intended. Another claimed that Congress sought to impose narrow limits 
on areas a community credit union serves.
    These commenters overlook certain facts that contradict the notion 
that a Combined Statistical Area is too expansive to be ``local.'' 
First, of the 174 designated Combined Statistical Areas, the 22 largest 
would not qualify as a WDLC because each, as a whole, exceeds the 2.5 
million population cap. Second, the average geographic size among the 
152 Combined Statistical Areas that would each qualify as a WDLC, at 
4553 square miles, is comparable to the average geographic

[[Page 88415]]

size among the 243 individual CBSAs the Board has approved since 2010, 
at 4572 square miles.
    Having considered the comments addressing the proposal to recognize 
a Combined Statistical Areas as a ``presumptive community,'' the Board 
adopts the proposal given that a Combined Statistical Area simply 
unifies, as a single community, two or more contiguous CBSAs that each 
independently meet the existing rule's definition of a ``statistical 
area'' that presumptively qualifies as a WDLC. Accordingly, subject to 
the existing 2.5 million population limit for a CBSA, the rule adds to 
the ``statistical area'' definition ``all or an individual portion of . 
. . a Combined Statistical Area designated by the U.S. Office of 
Management and Budget.'' \28\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \28\ Appendix B, Ch. 2, Sec.  V.A.2.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    5. Addition of an Adjacent Area to a Well-Defined Local Community. 
The existing rule does not, for general use, give credit unions the 
option to submit a narrative, supported by objective documentation, 
that an FCU contends will demonstrate common interests or interaction 
among residents of a proposed community (the ``narrative model'').\29\ 
The proposed rule allows credit unions to once again use a narrative 
approach supported by objective documentation to demonstrate that an 
area adjacent to a community consisting of an SPJ, a CBSA or a Combined 
Statistical Area qualifies as part of that local community. The credit 
union, using objective documentation, must demonstrate that the 
adjacent area is logically part of a WDLC that includes an SPJ, CBSA, 
or Combined Statistical Area due to common interests or interaction 
among residents on both sides of the perimeter. The expanded community 
still is subject to the applicable population limit. Any FCU has the 
option of pursuing a community charter that combines an adjacent area 
with all or a portion of an SPJ, CBSA or Combined Statistical Area. To 
support such an expansion, an FCU with a proven track record in serving 
an existing FOM may be permitted to use an agency-prescribed set of 
relaxed business plan requirements, as set forth in the final rule.\30\ 
However, a credit union without an established track record of serving 
a community, such as a credit union converting to a community charter, 
will need to provide a full business and marketing plan.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \29\ In 2010, the Board abandoned the narrative model in favor 
of giving credit unions an option among ``presumptive communities'' 
that each by definition qualifies as a WDLC. 75 FR 36257, 36260 
(June 25, 2010).
    \30\ 80 FR at 76750; Appendix B, Ch. 2, Sec.  V.B.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Most credit union-affiliated commenters supported the proposal to 
permit a community credit union to add an adjacent area upon narrative 
proof of common interests or interaction among residents of the 
expanded community. They recommended that option as a logical advance 
in business development because it would allow an FCU to add an 
adjacent area without requiring it to discontinue serving its existing 
community. However, several commenters opposed the requirement that an 
FCU must support its application to add an adjacent area with a 
business plan demonstrating its post-expansion commitment and ability 
to serve the entire community.
    Bank trade associations opposed the concept of permitting adjacent 
area additions to a community, regardless how common interests or 
interaction among residents is demonstrated, and in a few cases opposed 
it conditionally. Without specifying a substantive or procedural 
objection, some commenters asserted that the Board lacks statutory 
authority to implement the proposal. Another contended that, due to the 
breadth and scope of the banking industry, the adjacent areas the 
proposal addresses do not lack sufficient access to financial services. 
Still another complained that approval of an adjacent area addition on 
the basis of NCUA's qualitative assessment of a narrative would render 
the process non-transparent.
    Two critical commenters conditioned their opposition to the 
proposal to allow adjacent area additions on certain modifications. The 
first would be to require the Board develop a complete record 
confirming that the proposed adjacent area meets six interaction or 
common interest characteristics among its residents, rather than 
accepting on its face the supporting information the credit union 
provides. The second would be, in each case, to require the Board to 
then publish a notice in the Federal Register inviting public comment 
on whether the proposed adjacent area is a WDLC.
    The Act gives the Board broad discretion to define a WDLC for 
purposes of ``making any determination'' regarding a community credit 
union,\31\ and to establish criteria to apply to any such 
determination.\32\ Under that authority, the Board proposed a set of 
criteria that a narrative should address, and which NCUA staff would 
consider in evaluating an application to add an adjacent area to an 
existing community.\33\ In contrast, the Act did not require NCUA to 
effectively subject each such application to a referendum by means of 
notice and an opportunity for the public to comment. In that event, the 
volume of community charter, conversion and expansion applications the 
agency's staff receives each year (an annual average of eighty-seven 
since 2010) would make it impracticable to seek public comment on each 
proposed adjacent area addition, and would needlessly consume agency 
resources. Further, a notice and opportunity to comment on each 
application, followed by agency review of the comments, would delay 
credit union service to the residents of the adjacent area in each 
case.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \31\ 12 U.S.C. 1759(g)(1)(A) (emphasis added).
    \32\ Id. Sec.  1759(g)(1)(B).
    \33\ 80 FR at 76772 (referring to the presence of an economic 
hub, quasi-governmental agencies, Government designated programs, 
shared public services and facilities, and colleges and 
universities).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Having considered the comments addressing the proposal to permit an 
adjacent area addition to a community and, for that limited purpose, to 
accept narrative proof of common interests and interaction among 
residents, the Board has decided to adopt the proposal in the final 
rule.\34\ In addition, the Office of Consumer Protection, or its 
successor, will separately issue guidance on the criteria introduced in 
the proposed rule that a narrative should address to support the 
addition of an adjacent area, and which the Board will consider in 
deciding an FCU's application to do so. The guidance may specify a 
certain number of criteria that, if met, would presumptively qualify an 
adjacent area for approval.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \34\ Appendix B, Ch. 2, Sec.  V.A.2.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    6. Individual Congressional District as a Well-Defined Local 
Community. Although not prohibited by statute, since 1999 the Board has 
maintained that Congressional districts and whole states do not qualify 
as a WDLC, even though both are well-defined.\35\ In the December 2015 
proposed rule, the Board reconsidered its policy and, as a result, 
proposed to recognize an individual Congressional district as a SPJ, 
thus qualifying each as a ``presumptive community'' without regard to 
population.\36\ As with any other community charter application, the 
proposal required an FCU to support its application to serve a 
Congressional district with a business and marketing plan demonstrating 
its ability and

[[Page 88416]]

commitment to serve the entire community.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \35\ 63 FR 72012, 72013, 72037 (Dec. 30, 1998); Appendix B, Ch. 
2, Sec.  V.A.2. See also 75 FR at 36258 (affirming that entire state 
is not acceptable as WDLC).
    \36\ Appendix B, Ch. 2, Sec.  V.A.1.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    At least a thousand credit union-affiliated commenters supported 
the proposal to recognize Congressional districts as SPJs; only one 
opposed it.\37\ The supporters emphasized that the Act never restricted 
Congressional districts from qualifying as a WDLC, thus giving the 
Board latitude to reconsider its original policy disqualifying them. 
One commenter characterized Congressional districts as the ``ultimate 
political jurisdictions'' because their average population of about 
710,000 is far less than that of many SPJs, and less than the 
population threshold by which OMB may divide a CBSA into Metropolitan 
Divisions (2.5 million). Another suggested that a community consisting 
of an individual Congressional district should be allowed to encompass 
a certain radius of miles beyond the district's boundaries. In 
contrast, hundreds of bank-affiliated commenters opposed recognition of 
individual Congressional districts as SPJs.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \37\ The single credit union-affiliated opponent alleged a lack 
of ``commonality'' among residents of a Congressional district 
because it is ``skewed for political reasons to enable election of a 
certain party's candidates.''
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Board has considered the comments addressing the proposal to 
recognize an individual Congressional district as a ``presumptive 
community.'' Notwithstanding certain merits of the proposal, the Board 
has decided to defer action on it at this time, consistent with an 
incremental approach to introducing, and permitting credit unions to 
acclimate to, other significant community common bond enhancements 
adopted in the final rule (e.g., Combined Statistical Areas, adjacent 
area additions, and an increased population limit and a new multi-state 
expansion limit on Rural Districts). As a result, the final rule does 
not designate an individual Congressional district as a ``presumptive 
community.''
    7. Commenters' Recommendations in Response to the Proposed Rule. 
Several commenters initiated community common bond recommendations that 
the Board did not propose. The first commenter-initiated recommendation 
was that the Board accept as a ``presumptive community'' (in addition 
to CBSA and SPJ that the existing rule permits) any ``Federal, state or 
other statistical model'' an FCU chooses to designate as its community. 
The second recommendation was that the Board extend membership 
eligibility to non-profit organizations that provide services to the 
community a credit union serves, regardless whether the organization is 
headquartered or located there (as the existing rule requires). The 
third recommendation was that the Board accept for general use a 
narrative to demonstrate interaction or common interests among 
residents to support any application to charter, expand or to convert 
to a community credit union (not just in support of an adjacent area 
addition, as the final rule provides). The fourth recommendation was 
that the Board, by regulation, permit a multiple common bond credit 
union that converts to a community charter to add and serve new members 
from its pre- conversion select employee groups (``SEGs'') now located 
outside its community boundaries. This proposal would interpret the 
Act's ``grandfathered members and groups'' exception \38\ to permit 
what would effectively be a ``once a SEG, always a SEG regardless of 
common bond'' policy allowing a multiple common bond credit union to 
retain those outside SEGs after it converts to a community charter.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \38\ The ``grandfathered members and groups'' exception provides 
that ``Notwithstanding [section 1759(b)]--(i) any person or 
organization that is a member of any Federal credit union as of 
August 7, 1998, may remain a member of the credit union after August 
7, 1998; and (ii) a member of any group whose members constituted a 
portion of the membership of any Federal credit union as of August 
7, 1998, shall continue to be eligible to become a member of that 
credit union, by virtue of membership in that group, after August 7, 
1998.'' 12 U.S.C. 1759(c)(1)(A).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Administrative Procedure Act (``APA'') prohibits the Board from 
adopting these four recommendations in the final rule because the 
proposed rule did not introduce them for public comment, thus not 
``provid[ing] sufficient factual detail and rationale for the rule to 
permit interested parties to comment meaningfully.'' \39\ Nor is any of 
the four recommendations a logical outgrowth of a proposal that was 
introduced for public comment in the December 2015 proposed rule. As a 
result, the public was not given reasonable notice and an opportunity 
to address these commenters' recommendations.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \39\ 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3), 706(2)(A); United States Telecom Ass'n 
v. Federal Communications Commission, 2016 WL 3251234 (slip op. page 
10); CSX Transp., Inc. v. Surface Transp. Bd., 584 F.3d 1076 (D.C. 
Cir. 2009); Ass'n of Private Sector Colleges and Univ. v. Duncan, 
681 F.3d 427 (D.C. Cir. 2012).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

B. Rural District Definition

    The Act does not mandate a population limit for a Rural District. 
However, to qualify as a Rural District, the existing rule restricts 
the area's total population to the greater of either 250,000 people or 
3 percent of the population of the state in which the majority of the 
proposed Rural District's residents would be located.\40\ In addition, 
either at least 50 percent of the proposed Rural District's population 
must reside in geographic units the Census designates as ``rural,'' or 
the proposed Rural District's population density cannot exceed 100 
persons per square mile.\41\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \40\ Appendix B, Ch. 2, Sec.  V.A.2.
    \41\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    1. Population Limit. The proposed rule modified the present Rural 
District definition to increase the population limit from 250,000 to 1 
million persons to ensure that the population of a Rural District is 
sufficient to provide a level of operating efficiencies and scale that 
would make the area attractive as a strategic option, and to facilitate 
credit unions' statutory responsibility to provide consumers, including 
persons of modest means who may reside in rural areas, with access to 
our national system of cooperative credit. The proposed rule also 
omitted as redundant the alternative population limitation of 3 percent 
of the population of the state in which the majority of the Rural 
District's residents would be located.
    Nearly all of the credit union-affiliated commenters who addressed 
the proposed population increase to 1 million supported it, provided 
the Board does not eliminate the population cap on Rural Districts 
altogether. They dismissed the cap as superfluous in view of other 
qualifying criteria--the existing minimum population density and 
``rural'' designation options and, if it were adopted, the multi-state 
expansion limit. They further contend that the characteristics of a 
Rural District do not change much as its population fluctuates. 
Conversely, one commenter conditioned its support for a 1 million 
population cap on elimination of the population density criterion, 
arguing that (at 100 persons per square mile) it is unduly low in any 
case.
    Others believed that the sole criterion to qualify as a Rural 
District should be a credit union's ability to serve the area, as 
demonstrated by business and marketing plans, including via online 
services to members. To expand a Rural District, these commenters urged 
that the decisive factor should be evidence of the contiguous area's 
economic and social ties to the pre-expansion Rural District. One 
commenter suggested permitting an area to qualify as a Rural District 
so long as the Census does not classify it as either an ``urban area'' 
or

[[Page 88417]]

an ``urban cluster.'' \42\ Instead of relying on ``rural'' versus 
``urban'' distinctions, another commenter urged the Board to treat a 
Rural District the same as the final rule treats an adjacent area 
addition to a community, i.e., allow the use of a narrative to 
demonstrate interaction and common interests among proposed Rural 
District residents.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \42\ For Census identification of ``urban areas'' and ``urban 
clusters,'' see https://www.census.gov/geo/reference/ua/urban-rural-2010.html.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Apart from the preference to eliminate the Rural District 
population cap, several commenters predicted that a 1 million 
population cap would open up consumer choice for a cooperative form of 
financial institution, helping credit unions to serve the low wage 
workers who dominate certain rural markets. Others emphasized the 
difficulty of delineating the borders of a Rural District versus an 
urban community, due to scattered population hubs and widely dispersed 
individuals and businesses, and urged the Board to modify its rules to 
facilitate credit union service to those areas.
    Six bank-affiliated trade associations objected to the proposal 
because it quadrupled the Rural District population cap. These 
commenters stated that the proposal was an unreasonable interpretation 
of the statutory terms ``rural'' and ``local.'' They expressed concern 
that credit unions will exploit the increased population cap to combine 
densely populated and thinly populated areas into a single area to meet 
the population density limit, and to create state-wide fields of 
membership.
    To limit Rural District expansions, one commenter urged NCUA to 
require the majority of persons within a proposed Rural District to 
reside in geographic units the Census designates as ``rural.'' Another 
commenter opposed the use of similar Consumer Financial Protection 
Bureau (``CFPB'') designations of ``rural'' counties, which would 
qualify approximately 3 out of 4 counties in the commenter's state for 
a Rural District expansion, believing that such a result would exceed a 
reasonable interpretation of ``local'' and ``rural.'' On the assumption 
that the Act requires a Rural District to be ``local,'' a commenter 
maintained that ``a Rural District encompassing a large region 
inherently would lack interaction or common interests among residents 
and thus inconsistent with the Act.''
    These views rely on a pair of misconceptions: That ``local'' as 
used in section 1759(b) and (g) modifies ``rural district,'' when in 
fact it does not; and that a ``local'' area and a ``rural'' area 
necessarily share similar characteristics, which they inherently do 
not. In any case, a Rural District by its very nature typically covers 
an area that is too large to be considered ``local.''
    As the proposed rule explained, a Rural District must have a 
population sufficient to enable it to provide a level of operating 
efficiencies and scale that will make it attractive to credit unions as 
a strategic option. In that regard, a commenter questioned why a 
population of 1 million is needed to achieve that objective when, 
according to the commenter, community banks manage to serve far fewer 
than 1 million people located in rural areas. Another commenter 
expressed concern that NCUA will exploit the need for ``operating 
efficiencies'' to raise the Rural District population cap beyond 1 
million.
    Having considered the comments addressing the Rural District 
population cap, the Board has decided to set the rural district 
population cap at 1 million, as proposed. The Board believes this 
higher limit will achieve a ``balance . . . between permitting rural 
districts to be large enough to be economically viable but not 
unreasonably large taking into account the purpose of the rural 
district,'' \43\ and will bring affordable financial services to 
portions of the country that would not otherwise meet the requirements 
of a WDLC.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \43\ 78 FR 13460, 13462 (Feb. 28, 2013).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    A higher population cap is supported by the Board's experience 
since 2013 with eight credit unions, in four different states, serving 
Rural Districts with an average population of 536,646.\44\ The ability 
of these credit unions to bring affordable financial services to more 
populated areas has convinced the Board that a population cap should 
permit additional growth opportunities in rural areas. These 
opportunities would assist credit unions located in areas where 
residents are unable to readily interact or share common interests to 
support a WDLC--which is subject to a much higher population cap--even 
though these residents need access to affordable financial services.
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    \44\ Each of these eight Rural Districts was approved under the 
existing rule despite a population in excess of 250,000 because, in 
each case, its population was less than 3 percent of the population 
of the state in which the majority of the Rural District's residents 
were located.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The existing rule provides an alternative population limit of 3 
percent of the population of the state in which a majority of a rural 
districts residents are located. Under that alternative, the Board has 
approved 8 rural districts above the general population limit of 
250,000. Moreover, that alternative already allows a rural district 
with a population of at least 1 million in one state, and of at least 
800,000 in another. Having set a 1 million precedent in one state, the 
purpose of the alternative limit also justifies a fixed 1 million 
population cap for the other 49 states--a high enough cap to 
accommodate not only the hub area within a rural district, but also the 
surrounding population of potential members, to support the rural 
district's economic viability.
    In view of this objective, a 1 million cap is appropriate because 
it strikes an appropriate balance between economic viability and an 
excessive population. It also leaves credit unions that already serve a 
Rural District, as well as those that would consider doing so, 
sufficient flexibility going forward to maintain economic viability and 
to maximize penetration of the potential membership base.
    Most importantly, an increased cap will enhance consumer access to 
our national system of cooperative credit, particularly those of modest 
means in rural areas, who may otherwise lack access to a not-for-profit 
cooperative credit union. In this regard, the Board finds it compelling 
that in 97 percent of non-metropolitan counties, more than 50 percent 
of the population is either low, moderate, or middle income.\45\ 
Accordingly, the final rule increases the Rural District population cap 
to 1 million, while still requiring credit unions to demonstrate an 
intent and ability to serve the entire area.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \45\ https://www.ffiec.gov/geocode/help3.aspx
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Bank-associated commenters speculated that larger regions would 
lack interaction or common interests among their residents. What these 
commenters overlook is that these defining characteristics of a WDLC do 
not apply to a Rural District. Rather, primarily due to the sparsely 
distributed population in rural areas,\46\ the defining characteristic 
of a Rural District necessarily is population density.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \46\ 74 FR 68722, 68723 (December 29, 2009).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Board believes that increasing the population limit on rural 
districts is warranted by the contemporary economic realities of 
serving sparsely populated areas. The penetration rate among community 
charters typically is five percent. As a result, for a credit union 
serving a rural district to thrive, a sufficiently large population 
base is essential to enable it to offer financial services 
economically. Although some commenters believe that the higher limit 
would give credit unions an unfair

[[Page 88418]]

competitive advantage, the reality is that credit unions in rural 
districts are subject to restrictions on who they may serve, unlike 
other types of financial institutions. The Board believes that the 
objective of expanding opportunities for credit unions to serve more 
consumers in rural areas outweighs any perceived impact on competition. 
The Board's concern about excessive expansion of rural districts is 
addressed below.
    2. Multi-State Expansion Limit. The existing rule permits the 
expansion of a Rural District beyond the boundaries of the state in 
which the FCU maintains its headquarters. To achieve consistency with 
Census recognition of expansive rural areas while appropriately 
limiting multi- state expansion, the proposed rule revised the present 
Rural District definition (population limit plus either sparse 
population density or a ``rural'' designation) to confine a Rural 
District's expansion to the boundaries of the states that are 
immediately contiguous to the state in which the FCU approved to serve 
the Rural District is headquartered (i.e., not to exceed the outer 
perimeter of the layer of states immediately bordering the headquarters 
state).
    Relatively few commenters addressed the proposed multi-state 
expansion limit. Some of the credit union-affiliated commenters opposed 
the multi-state expansion limit as redundant, suggesting that it should 
be eliminated in view of the population cap, which would function as an 
appropriate check on overexpansion. Conversely, others advocated 
retaining the multi-state expansion limit, provided the population cap 
on Rural Districts is eliminated. One commenter urged that the sole 
criterion for approving a Rural District should be the credit union's 
ability to serve an area lacking in access to credit union service, 
including by technological means. The few bank commenters who addressed 
the proposed multi-state expansion limit opposed the concept of multi-
state Rural Districts altogether, dismissing it as a means to 
effectively allow state-wide and multi-state FOMs.
    In contrast to these comments, the Board's purpose is to have dual 
limitations that each serve a unique purpose--one on population, the 
other on geographic area size. Therefore, having considered the 
comments addressing the proposed multi-state limit on Rural District 
expansions, the Board has decided to adopt it without alteration in the 
final rule. Accordingly, the final rule provides that, to qualify as a 
Rural District, an area's boundaries must ``not exceed the outer 
boundaries of the states that are immediately contiguous to the state 
in which the credit union maintains its headquarters (i.e., not to 
exceed the outer perimeter of the layer of states immediately 
surrounding the headquarters state).'' \47\
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    \47\ Appendix B, Ch. 2, Sec.  V.A.2.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

C. Underserved Areas

    The Act authorizes the Board to allow multiple common bond credit 
unions to serve members residing in an ``underserved area,'' provided 
the FCU establishes and maintains a facility ``in'' the area.\48\ To 
qualify as ``underserved,'' an area must, among other criteria, be 
``underserved . . . by other depository institutions . . ., based on 
data of the Board and the Federal banking agencies.'' \49\ In the 
absence of a specific test or criteria to assess such ``underservice,'' 
the Board developed a ``concentration of facilities ratio'' (``COF 
ratio'') \50\ that it has relied upon to determine whether a proposed 
area is underserved by other depository institutions.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \48\ 12 U.S.C. 1759(c)(2).
    \49\ Id. Sec.  1759(c)(2)(A) citing id. Sec.  461(b)(1)(A). The 
Act relies on the Community Development Banking and Financial 
Institutions Act to define ``depository institution.'' Id. Sec.  
4702(16). By definition, a ``depository institution'' is insured and 
includes credit unions. Id. Sec.  461(b)(1)(A)(iv).
    \50\ 73 FR 73392 (Dec. 2, 2008). Using census tracts as the unit 
of measure, the concentration of facilities ratio compares the 
concentration of depository institution facilities among the 
population within the non-``distressed'' portions of the proposed 
area against the concentration of such facilities among the 
population of the area as a whole. 73 FR at 73396. Appendix B, Ch.3, 
Sec.  III.B.3. An area qualifies as underserved by other depository 
institutions when the concentration of facilities ratio within its 
non-``distressed'' census tracts exceeds the concentration of 
facilities ratio within the census tracts of the area as a whole.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    1. Exclusion of Non-Depository Institutions and Non-Community 
Credit Unions from Concentration of Facilities Ratio. To prevent 
dilution and distortion of the COF ratio, as well as to strictly adhere 
to the letter and the spirit of the ``depository institutions'' 
definition,\51\ the proposed rule excluded non-depository banks (e.g., 
trust companies, which do not accept deposits from the general public) 
\52\ and non-community credit unions (e.g., multiple common bond credit 
unions other than those already serving an Underserved Area) from the 
COF ratio. By definition or in practice, neither is capable of serving 
the general public of a proposed Underserved Area.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \51\ 12 U.S.C. 461(b)(1)(A).
    \52\ As identified in FDIC's ``Summary of Deposits Survey,'' 
e.g., https://www.fdic.gov/news/news/financial/2015/fil15024.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Of the commenters who specifically addressed the proposed non-
depository bank and non-community credit union exclusions from the COF 
ratio, most opposed the COF concept altogether, denouncing it as: 
Flawed, unduly cumbersome and incapable of producing a meaningful 
analysis; the cause of unnecessary disapprovals; and a disincentive to 
serve an Underserved Area.\53\ However, assuming the Board would retain 
the COF ratio, 41 credit union-affiliated commenters supported both 
exclusions.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \53\ As the Board explained when it proposed the COF ratio: 
``CUMAA did not specify a methodology for determining whether a 
proposed area meets the `underserved . . . by other depository 
institutions' test; instead, it broadly refers to unspecified `data 
of the [NCUA] Board and the Federal banking agencies.' 12 U.S.C. 
1759(c)(2)(A)(ii). In the decade since CUMAA, raw data has 
accumulated within government on branch locations and the volume of 
business in certain products and services, but meaningful and 
reliable data on these points has only recently become readily 
accessible. This data makes it possible to quantify and compare the 
presence of financial institution facilities in a given area. The 
proposed rule suggests [the COF ratio as] a flexible methodology 
that relies on publicly available population data and data on the 
location of financial institution branches.'' 73 FR 34366, 34369 
(June 17, 2008). See also 73 FR 73392, 73396 (Dec. 2, 2008).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Other commenters urge that once a Government agency designates an 
area as ``underserved,'' the Board should not require the FCU to also 
demonstrate that the area is ``underserved by other depository 
institutions'' (even though the Act mandates exactly that); should 
disregard the number of depository institutions already serving the 
area (even though the Act mandates the opposite); and should exempt 
underserved areas from the population cap that applies to a CBSA. These 
commenters maintained that greater flexibility concerning Underserved 
Area criteria would reduce burden--presently a disincentive for credit 
unions to expand service to an Underserved Area. However, these 
commenters overlooked the Act's explicit requirement that an area be 
``underserved by other depository institutions'' \54\ regardless of the 
other statutory criteria, in order to qualify as an Underserved Area.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \54\ 12 U.S.C. 1759(c)(2)(A)(ii).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    One commenter asked the Board to clarify how shared branches would 
count to determine whether an area is ``underserved by other depository 
institutions'' (i.e., whether each shared branch participant counts as 
an individual depository institution, or the shared branch as a whole 
counts as a single depository institution regardless of the number of 
participating institutions). As an incentive to serve Underserved 
Areas, another commenter asked the Board to develop and make public a 
list of Underserved Areas that qualify under the applicable criteria 
(effectively pre-approving them) in

[[Page 88419]]

order to conserve the resources credit unions otherwise must devote to 
identifying Underserved Areas.
    Although many bank-affiliated commenters opposed the concept of the 
COF ratio altogether, one supported the proposed exclusions. Having 
considered the comments addressing the proposed exclusions from the COF 
ratio, the Board considers the proposal an appropriate improvement and, 
therefore, implements both exclusions in the final rule.
    2. Alternatives to Identify Areas ``Underserved by Other Depository 
Institutions.'' As alternatives to using the COF ratio to assess 
whether a proposed area is underserved by other depository 
institutions, the proposed rule permitted use of ``underserved county'' 
designations by the CFPB,\55\ as well as a metric of a credit union's 
own choosing provided it is based on NCUA or other Federal banking 
agency data.\56\ In addition, the proposed rule invited commenters to 
identify other methodologies and Federal banking agency data that would 
be useful to objectively determine whether an area is ``underserved by 
other depository institutions.''
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \55\ CFPB's annual ``Rural or underserved counties list'' does 
not segregate ``rural'' and ``underserved'' counties. Therefore, 
NCUA will use the data collected by CFPB to produce and make 
available a list that identifies ``underserved areas'' exclusively.
    \56\ E.g., FDIC ``Summary of Deposits Survey,'' supra note 51.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Credit union-affiliated commenters suggested various metrics to use 
in addition to, or instead of, the COF ratio to assess the existing 
level of service by depository institutions already present in a 
proposed Underserved Area. These included the CFPB's ``underserved'' 
county designations, and Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (``HMDA'') data 
indicating the number of depository institutions that meet a minimum 
ratio of mortgage loans extended to residents within an area versus 
borrowers from outside, and to persons below a certain credit score 
limit. In many cases, the suggested metric is generic because the 
commenter did not specify the data the metric would rely on and/or the 
source of the data.\57\ A single bank commenter opposed the use of 
alternative metrics altogether, finding it inappropriate to allow 
credit unions to rely on a metric of their own choosing.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \57\ E.g., U.S. Department of Agriculture data; Pew Research 
Center reports; changes in an area's characteristics between 
decennial Censuses; local economic factors; local poverty rates; 
local unemployment rate; local median family income; and reports and 
surveys an applicant credit union itself develops.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Having considered the comments suggesting alternative metrics to 
determine whether a proposed area is underserved by other depository 
institutions, the Board has decided to accept the CFPB's ``underserved 
county'' designations as a proxy for a determination of 
``underservice.'' The Board also will consider an FCU-chosen metric, 
provided it is based on NCUA or Federal banking agency data. An example 
of such a metric would be relevant data from the publicly available 
reports of Community Reinvestment Act examinations conducted by the 
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (``FDIC''), the Office of the 
Comptroller of the Currency or the Board of Governors of the Federal 
Reserve System, or from HMDA data collected by these agencies.\58\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \58\ 12 U.S.C. 2902(2)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Accordingly, the final rule provides that ``a proposed area will 
qualify as `underserved by other depository institutions' if it is 
designated as, or is within, an `underserved county' according to data 
produced by the CFPB. . . . NCUA will make a list of `underserved 
counties' available on its Web site.'' \59\ Alternatively, the final 
rule permits a credit union to submit for approval ``a metric of its 
own choosing that is based on NCUA or other Federal banking agency 
data, [that] establishes to NCUA that the proposed area is `underserved 
by other depository institutions.' \60\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \59\ Appendix B, Ch. 2, Sec.  III.B.3.
    \60\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    3. Commenters' Recommendations in Response to the Proposed Rule. In 
response to the proposed rule, a few commenters initiated Underserved 
Area recommendations of their own. The Board can adopt a regulatory 
proposal only when, and to the extent, it is authorized by law, and 
then only if it is supported by rational and reasonable policy 
conclusions as reflected in the rulemaking record.\61\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \61\ 5 U.S.C. 706(2)(A).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The first commenter recommendation was that the Board, by 
regulation, permit any charter type to add an Underserved Area, whereas 
the existing rule permits only a multiple common bond credit union to 
do so. To allow any charter type to serve an Underserved Area would 
require Congress to amend the Act, which presently limits Underserved 
Area additions to FCUs in the ``the field of membership category of 
which is described in [section 1759(b)(2)],'' i.e., exclusively a 
``multiple common-bond credit union.'' \62\ Pending such an amendment 
to the Act, the Board lacks the authority to adopt the recommendation 
to allow any charter type to add an Underserved Area.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \62\ 12 U.S.C. 1759(c)(2).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The second commenter recommendation was that the Board permit 
``other technical means,'' beyond what the existing ``service 
facility'' definition permits, to meet the Act's explicit mandate that 
a credit union ``establish and maintain an office or facility in'' the 
Underserved Area it is approved to serve.\63\ For the Board to depart 
from this statutory mandate would require Congress to amend the Act to, 
for example, substitute ``to serve'' for the word ``in.'' Pending such 
an amendment to the Act, the Board lacks the authority to adopt the 
recommendation to permit a transactional Web site to qualify as a valid 
service facility within an Underserved Area.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \63\ Id. Sec.  1759(c)(2)(B) (emphasis added). The Board 
authorized video teller machines in an opinion letter dated August 
6, 2012, at: https://www.ncua.gov/regulation-supervision/Pages/rules/legal-opinions/2012/0965.aspx.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

D. Multiple Common Bond

    As amended in 1998, the Act restored the Board's multiple common 
bond policy, permitting a multiple common bond credit union to serve a 
combination of distinct, definable occupational and/or associational 
groups, provided each has its own common bond among group members.\64\
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    \64\ 63 FR 71998, Dec. 30, 1998; 12 U.S.C. 1759(b)(2)(A). See 
NCUA v. First National Bank & Trust Co., 522 U.S. 479 (1988).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    1. Credit Union's ``Reasonable Proximity'' via Members' Online 
Access to Services. When it is either impracticable or inconsistent 
with reasonable standards of safety and soundness for a group to form a 
stand-alone single common bond credit union, the Act requires 
``inclusion of [a new] group in the [FOM] of a credit union that is 
within reasonable proximity to the location of the group whenever 
practicable and consistent with reasonable standards for the safe and 
sound operation of the credit union.'' \65\ Solely to meet the 
``reasonable proximity'' requirement, the Board proposed revising the 
definition of a ``service facility'' to include online internet access 
in the form of a transactional Web site that gives members of added 
occupational or associational groups access to their credit union's 
products and services.\66\

[[Page 88420]]

The Board noted the significant benefits of access via an electronic 
service facility, namely that it would put multiple common bond credit 
unions in parity with their depository institution competitors, and 
would permit them to keep pace with advances in technology that enable 
more efficient delivery of products and services to their members.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \65\ 12 U.S.C. 1759(f)(1)(B) (emphasis added).
    \66\ The revised definition would not permit an individual to 
qualify remotely for membership in a community credit union based on 
electronic access to it from outside its well-defined local 
community. Nor would the revised definition apply to meet the 
requirement that a credit union serving an Underserved Area ``must 
establish and maintain an office or facility in [the Underserved 
Area].''
    \66\ 12 U.S.C. 1759(c)(1)(B).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Scores of credit union commenters supported the proposal to modify 
the definition of service facility to permit use of a transactional Web 
site to achieve reasonable proximity between a multiple common bond 
credit union and members of its added groups. These commenters 
contented that the proposal is within the Board's authority to 
interpret the Act. As a practical matter, the commenters asserted that 
online proximity reflects the large and growing role of modern 
financial technology, making geographic location and physical branches 
less representative of the scope of a credit union's service area. 
Online access would allow FCUs to efficiently meet their members' needs 
and expectations.
    Commenters stated that while an FCU's physical presence 
conveniently close to the groups it served may have been a practical 
necessity in the past, evolving technology has expanded the menu of 
options members have to interact with their financial institution, 
effectively putting them in close proximity regardless of geographic 
location. In contrast, scores of bank commenters opposed the proposal 
to amend the definition of service facility to include online access. 
They claimed that the proposal exceeds the Board's statutory authority 
and is inconsistent with Congressional intent, in that an online 
internet channel would ``effectively remove the statutory requirement 
that a multiple common bond FCU be in a `reasonable proximity to the 
location of the group.'' Moreover, they criticized the proposal as 
inconsistent with NCUA's prior interpretation of ``reasonable 
proximity'' as mandating an FCU branch office or mobile office 
physically near the group to be added. One commenter recommended that 
NCUA study the effect of the proposal on the wider financial services 
industry.
    The Board has considered the comments addressing the proposal to 
modify the definition of service facility to permit use of a 
transactional Web site to achieve ``reasonable proximity'' between a 
multiple common bond credit union and members of its added groups. 
Notwithstanding certain merits of the proposal, the Board has decided 
to defer action on it at this time, consistent with an incremental 
approach to introducing the other FOM modifications adopted in the 
final rule, thus permitting credit unions to acclimate to them. The 
Board will further study the impact of the proposal.\67\ However, this 
decision does not detract from the Board's belief in the utility of on-
line access to facilitate transactions between credit unions and their 
members generally.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \67\ The Board notes that a shared branch or other facility can 
be used as an alternative to meet the ``reasonable proximity'' 
requirement.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    2. Inclusion of Select Employee Group Contractors in a Multiple 
Common Bond. The proposed rule extended to multiple occupational common 
bond credit unions the ability (that single common bond credit unions 
already have) \68\ to add persons who work regularly for an entity that 
is under contract to any of the SEG sponsors listed in a credit union's 
charter, provided there is a ``strong dependency relationship'' between 
the contractor and the SEG sponsor in each case.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \68\ Appendix B, Ch. 2 Sec.  II.A.1.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Scores of FCU commenters supported this proposal, believing that it 
better reflects today's modern workforce, in which it is not uncommon 
for businesses to outsource work to contractors whose employees, 
although not directly employed by a SEG sponsor, are integral to the 
sponsor's functioning and operations. In some cases, the employees of 
an independent contractor have worked for a SEG sponsor longer than 
many of the sponsor's own employees, who were eligible for membership 
from the outset of their employment. As many commenters pointed out, 
there is no functional distinction between a single and multiple common 
bond credit union for purposes of recognizing the occupational common 
bond between a SEG sponsor's own employees and those of its contractors 
with whom they work.
    These commenters noted that the proposal would allow greater 
flexibility for potential members to join an FCU, thus easing or 
eliminating unnecessary administrative burdens and restrictions on 
FCUs. As a result, they claimed that this proposal would help to expand 
the multiple common bond membership base nationally, thereby making 
affordable financial services available to more American consumers.
    In contrast, bank commenters opposed the contractor eligibility 
proposal, arguing that it is inconsistent with the Act and its 
legislative history to include within a SEG the employees of its 
sponsor's contractors. They asserted that the Act favors the formation 
of single common bond credit unions.
    Having considered the comments addressing inclusion of SEG 
contractors in a multiple common bond, the Board has determined that 
the proposal not only is consistent with the statute, but reflects the 
modern economy's increasing reliance on contractors. Specifically, the 
Board notes the proposal's consistency with the Act's provisions 
requiring a stand-alone feasibility assessment above the 3000 member 
threshold. The strong mutual dependency of a SEG sponsor and its 
contractor on each other effectively cements the single common bond the 
sponsor's employees and the contractor's employees share with each 
other.
    Despite the Act's preference for the formation of single common 
bond credit unions, the Act expressly permits a multiple common bond 
addition when a group cannot reasonably establish a single common bond 
credit union, or likely would be unable to successfully manage and 
sustain such a credit union.\69\ The addition of a contractor's 
employees to a SEG consisting of the sponsor's employees with whom they 
work is consistent with that approach. Accordingly, the final rule 
provides that a multiple occupational common bond credit union may add 
persons who work regularly for an entity that is under contract to any 
of the SEG sponsors listed in the credit union's charter, provided 
there is a ``strong dependency relationship'' between the contractor 
and sponsor. To extend to multiple common bond credit unions the 
ability that single common bond credit unions already have to add 
persons who work regularly for an entity under contract to its sponsor 
advances the Board's goal to enable parallel functioning between single 
and multiple common bond credit unions whenever feasible and consistent 
with the Act.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \69\ 12 U.S.C. 1759(f)(1)(B).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Some commenters requested the Board to define what constitutes a 
``strong dependency relationship'' between a SEG sponsor and its 
contractor, but cautioned against requiring either SEG sponsors or 
their contractors to disclose trade secrets or confidential financial 
information. Some suggested permitting an FCU to pledge in good faith 
that it can

[[Page 88421]]

document a ``strong dependency relationship'' between each SEG's 
sponsor and the sponsor's contractor in accordance with the particulars 
of the industry in which they operate. Reflecting the Board's 
preference for a more objective standard, the final rule defines a 
``strong dependency relationship'' between a SEG sponsor and the 
sponsor's contractor to mean that both rely on each other as measured 
by a pattern of regularly doing business with each other, for example, 
as documented by the number, the term length and the dollar volume of 
prior and pending contracts between them. The Board intends the 
``strong dependency'' standard to be determined by credit unions 
themselves, so as to create a rebuttable presumption that the sponsor's 
employees and those of the contractor share a single common bond, as 
the Act requires. NCUA's Office of Consumer Protection, or its 
successor, anticipates issuing further guidance to clarify what 
documentation will be acceptable to confirm a contractual relationship 
based on a pattern of regularly doing business.
    3. Multiple Common Bond of Office/Industrial Park Employees. The 
existing rule expressly permits a community charter to consist of 
persons who are employed within an office or industrial park.\70\ As an 
alternative to such a community charter, the proposed rule expressly 
permitted a multiple common bond credit union to combine in a single 
SEG all the employees of a park's business and retail tenants (e.g., 
within a shopping mall, an office building or an office complex), 
provided each tenant has fewer than 3000 employees working regularly at 
a facility within the park--effectively a SEG consisting of park 
tenants themselves rather than their employees.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \70\ Appendix B, ch. 2 Sec.  V.A.7.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    About a dozen credit union commenters specifically addressed the 
tenants' SEG proposal, generally favoring it as an enhancement of an 
FCU's ability to serve multiple businesses within an office/industrial 
park by leveraging its resources to provide more value to its 
membership. Specifically, the proposal enabled an FCU to use a park's 
tenant base to more efficiently identify and offer services to 
employees of businesses within the park.
    Critics of the proposal included some credit unions and several 
banks that believed the proposal would create an impermissible 
``hybrid'' charter that combined community and occupational common bond 
characteristics. Specifically, these commenters believed such a charter 
would make a SEG out of a group (i.e., employees of a park's retail and 
business tenants) that is more properly characterized simply as persons 
who work in a geographically based community. These commenters 
emphasized that the Act prescribes distinct criteria for groups sharing 
an occupational versus an associational common bond.\71\ The opponents 
also questioned the justification for this proposal beyond 
administrative convenience.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \71\ As set forth in the Chartering Manual, the criteria of an 
occupational common bond are: (1) Employment in a single 
corporation, (2) employment in a corporation with a controlling 
interest in or by another legal entity, (3) employment in a 
corporation which is related to another legal entity (such as a 
company under contract and possessing a strong dependency 
relationship with another company); (4) employment or attendance in 
a school, or (5) employment in the same Trade, Industry or 
Profession. Appendix B, ch. 2, Sec.  II.A.1.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Having considered the comments addressing the tenants' SEG 
proposal, the Board believes it is appropriate to give the employees of 
a park's tenants the option to join a multiple common bond credit 
union. However, a SEG sponsored by a landlord and consisting of its 
tenants (as opposed to the landlord's own employees) unequivocally 
lacks the essential occupational common bond due to the lack of an 
employment relationship between the landlord and each tenant. 
Notwithstanding this structural flaw, the existing rule's language and 
its application in practice have convinced the Board that the rule 
already permits a park's tenants, in each one's capacity as an 
employer, to form a multiple occupational common bond credit union 
combining each one's individual SEG.\72\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \72\ Appendix B, ch. 1 Sec.  XI.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Accordingly, in lieu of the tenant SEG proposal, the final rule 
clarifies the current availability of the multiple common bond option 
for employers within an industrial park, shopping mall, office park, or 
office building (each a ``park'') by expressly specifying it as an 
example within the rule; no rule change is required.\73\ Consistent 
with the Act's stand-alone feasibility exemption for groups with fewer 
than 3000 members,\74\ each park tenant's SEG must have fewer than 3000 
employees who work at a facility within the park, each of whom would be 
eligible for FCU membership only for so long as he/she regularly works 
there.\75\ This existing multiple common bond option creates neither a 
new charter type nor an impermissible hybrid community/multiple group 
charter; rather, it gives FCUs a choice between either distinct charter 
type to serve an office/industrial park.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \73\ To facilitate the formation of multiple SEGs among a park's 
retail and business tenants, a multiple common bond credit union 
could rely on a letter from an authorized representative of the 
park, such as its leasing agent, to identify each incoming tenant 
capable of forming its own SEG, and to give notice of the departure 
of an existing SEG's sponsor from the park, thus discontinuing its 
SEG.
    \74\ 12 U.S.C. 1759(d)(2)(A).
    \75\ Appendix B, ch. 2, Sec.  IV.A.1.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    4. Streamlined Documentation to Assess Stand-Alone Feasibility of 
Groups of 3000 or Greater. The proposed rule streamlined NCUA's process 
for assessing the stand-alone feasibility of a group of 3000 or more 
members (``>=3000 group'') that seeks to be added to the FOM of an 
existing multiple common bond credit union, instead of forming a single 
common bond credit union. A group of fewer than 3000 members (``<3000 
group'') is subject to the existing process under the Application for 
Field of Membership (NCUA form 4015 EZ). A group between 3000 and 5000 
is required to document its inability to form a credit union of its own 
based on evidence of a lack of available subsidies, disinterest among 
the group's members, and an overall lack of sufficient resources (NCUA 
form 4015-A). Groups with more than 5000 members are subject to the 
existing standard application process, requiring a group to fully 
describe its inability to establish a new single common bond credit 
union (NCUA form 4015). The proposed rule invited comments on whether 
to increase the 5000 member threshold that triggers the standard 
application process.
    Scores of comments, both in support and in opposition, addressed 
the proposal to streamline the documentation requirement to assess the 
stand-alone feasibility of >=3000 groups. Credit union commenters 
generally favored the proposal, but requested modifications, 
particularly to increase the membership threshold and the method of 
quantifying group size. Most commenters recommended increasing the 
threshold to 5000, while others recommended increasing it to as many as 
20,000 members. One commenter recommended eliminating a numerical 
threshold completely. Further, many credit union commenters recommended 
evaluating the stand-alone feasibility criteria using the number of 
actual rather than potential members. Acknowledging the Board's initial 
rationale for the streamlined approach--that 80 percent of failures 
occur among FCUs with fewer than

[[Page 88422]]

5000 actual members \76\--certain supporters urged NCUA to consider the 
safety and soundness consequences and the risk to the Insurance Fund of 
insisting that groups between 3000 and 5000 members form their own 
credit unions. They suggested that NCUA's goal should be to charter 
FCUs that are most likely to survive.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \76\ 80 FR at 76754.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Several bank commenters criticized the proposal, claiming that it 
violates the Act and is inconsistent with the legislative history. 
These commenters stated that, with limited exceptions, the Act 
expressly limits to 3000 members the size of a group that can be added 
to an existing multiple common bond credit union. The commenters were 
concerned that the proposal's practical effect would be to unilaterally 
increase the numerical limitation prescribed by law.
    In contrast, credit union commenters insisted that the proposal is 
within the Act's statutory authority because it does not obviate the 
requirement that a >3000 group demonstrate its inability to establish a 
new single common bond FCU. In their view, it allows NCUA to accept a 
group's statement of inability to form a stand-alone credit union in 
lieu of full supporting documentation. To the extent such documentation 
is absent, they noted that NCUA retains the ability to reject or to 
further investigate a group's statement of inability to form a stand-
alone credit union.
    Having considered the comments addressing the streamlined 
documentation proposal for assessing the stand-alone feasibility of 
>3000 groups, it is clear that commenters opposing the proposal relied 
on a fundamental misconception--that the proposal would alter the 3000 
member stand-alone feasibility threshold mandated by the Act. On the 
contrary, the final rule merely reduces the documentation required, 
depending on group size, to support a stand-alone feasibility 
determination, while continuing to honor both the 3000 member 
feasibility threshold and the feasibility criteria that the Act 
prescribes. Further, streamlining the required documentation is a 
response to complaints to the agency from multiple common bond credit 
unions that the excessive paperwork demand on groups they seek to add 
has been a disincentive to those groups, causing them to withdraw in 
frustration.
    Certain credit unions urged the Board to increase the threshold 
above 5000, if based on potential members or, if left at 5000, to base 
it on actual members. These commenters did not provide a compelling 
justification for adjusting this amount at this time. On the contrary, 
the Board has determined that the proposed 5000 member threshold is 
appropriate at this time, believing that it represents the minimum 
number of potential members needed for a credit union to maintain long-
term economic viability.
    The process of applying the statutory stand-alone feasibility 
criteria is identical under both the streamlined documentation and the 
standard approaches. In either case, the Board would review a >3000 
group's application and determine whether to accept or reject it, or to 
request additional supporting information. Accordingly, the streamlined 
documentation proposal is consistent with the Act's stand-alone 
feasibility mandate.
    5. Commenter-initiated Emergency Merger Proposal. To facilitate 
mergers between credit unions with unlike common bonds, several 
commenters recommended a variety of approaches for relaxing, if not 
effectively disregarding, the statutory standard authorizing an 
emergency merger free of the FOM constraints the Act otherwise imposes. 
``Notwithstanding any other provision of law,'' including the FOM 
limitations it may impose, the Act permits the Board to authorize the 
merger of an insured credit union (or a purchase and assumption of its 
assets) provided the credit union is ``insolvent or is in danger of 
insolvency.'' \77\ Given that this explicit, objectively measurable 
``insolvency'' standard is expressly imposed by the Act, the Board is 
bound by it no matter what other circumstances it would consider to 
warrant a merger of unlike common bonds. Within that standard, the 
Board retains discretion to define ``danger of insolvency,'' e.g., in 
terms of imminence, as the existing rule does according to time 
increments (between 12 and 36 months) pending a credit union's 
declining net worth classification.\78\ The Board will, in a separate 
rulemaking, consider alternative approaches to define the ``danger of 
insolvency'' prerequisite for an emergency merger of unlike common 
bonds.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \77\ 12 U.S.C. 1785(h).
    \78\ Appendix B, Ch. 2, section II.D.2. (glossary definition of 
``danger of insolvency'').
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

E. Other Persons Eligible for Credit Union Membership

    NCUA has historically recognized a variety of persons who, by 
virtue of their relationship to a common bond group, have been entitled 
to credit union membership eligibility.\79\ To recognize the 
contributions of those who have served in the United States Armed 
Forces, and to give them the benefit of access to credit union service 
following active duty, the proposed rule permitted a credit union to 
include as an affinity group within its common bond the honorably 
discharged veterans of any branch of the United States Armed Forces 
listed in its charter.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \79\ Appendix B, Ch.2, sections II.H., IV.H., and Appendix 1 
(glossary definition of ``affinity'').
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Credit union commenters uniformly favored this proposal for 
recognizing not only the affinity that veterans share with their own 
active duty branch of service, but the affinity among active duty and 
retired military personnel generally. Some commenters supported the 
proposal as a means to protect military veterans from unscrupulous 
lenders. Another opposed it as too expansive, contending that it would 
justify membership eligibility for retirees of other organizations 
within an FOM. Conversely, yet another commenter advocated expanding 
the proposal to grant membership eligibility based upon the affinity 
of, for example, retired federal employees and retired teachers. The 
single bank commenter who addressed this proposal was concerned that it 
would enable individuals to use ``creative measures'' to join an FCU by 
group affinity generally.
    Having considered the comments addressing the proposal to extend 
membership eligibility to honorably discharged military members, the 
Board believes that it is appropriate due to the unique bond that 
discharged veterans typically retain with their former branch of 
service (e.g., via military-sponsored morale, welfare and recreational 
associations). The Board emphasizes that such an affinity applies 
exclusively to honorably discharged veterans; in contrast, membership 
eligibility would be available to retirees of other groups, such as 
teachers or federal employees within an FOM, only to the extent an 
individual credit union permits it in its charter. Accordingly, 
exclusively for ``Honorably discharged veterans who served in any of 
the Armed Services of the United States listed in [a credit union's] 
charter,'' the final rule automatically grants membership 
eligibility.\80\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \80\ Appendix B, Ch. 2, Sec.  II.H.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

[[Page 88423]]

F. Inclusion of ``Strong Dependency'' Vendors and Suppliers in a Single 
Common Bond Within a Trade, Industry or Profession

    A single occupational common bond within a trade, industry or 
profession (a ``TIP'') is based on employment by any number of 
separately owned corporations or other legal entities that share a 
common bond by reason of producing similar products, providing similar 
services, sharing the same profession or trade, or participating in the 
same industry.\81\ A TIP-based common bond requires a narrow 
commonality of interests among the TIP entities' employees and a close 
nexus among the entities themselves.\82\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \81\ 68 FR 18334, 18336 (April 15, 2003); Appendix B, ch. 2, 
Sec.  IIA.2.
    \82\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The proposed rule clarified that the existing definition of a TIP-
based single common bond of occupation includes employees of entities 
that have a strong dependency relationship on, and whose employees work 
directly with employees of, other entities within the same industry, to 
the extent that a significant, if not equal, economic impact is likely 
if one were unable to continue in its operations without doing business 
with the other.
    Several credit unions favored the proposal to include ``strong 
dependency'' vendors and suppliers in a TIP, stating that it would 
provide regulatory relief in allowing TIP credit unions to reach 
potential members more easily. One commenter welcomed the Board's 
recognition that current employment practices frequently involve 
outsourcing of work to independent vendors and suppliers under 
contract. No commenter opposed the proposal.
    Some commenters expressed a mistaken belief that the existing rule 
restricts a TIP charter from serving the entire nation. On the 
contrary, the existing rule imposes no geographic limitation on service 
to the groups within a TIP. In fact, NCUA has approved several TIPs 
whose groups span the whole nation.
    Having considered the comments addressing the proposal to include 
``strong dependency'' vendors and suppliers in a TIP, the Board has 
decided to adopt it in the final rule.\83\ Further, at the request of 
commenters, the final rule defines a ``strong dependency'' relationship 
between TIP entities and their vendors and suppliers as a relationship 
in which they rely on each other to the extent, for example, that the 
absence of one likely would cause the other to suffer a material 
decline in either revenue, functionality or productivity, among other 
consequences.\84\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \83\ Appendix B, Ch. 2, section II.A.2.
    \84\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

G. Technical Updates

    Since publishing the December 2015 proposed rule, the Board has 
renamed the agency's Office of Consumer Protection as the Office of 
Consumer Financial Protection and Access (``OCFPA''). Accordingly, the 
final rule updates the agency's Chartering Manual to substitute OCFPA 
in place of certain references to regional office and regional director 
chartering responsibilities, and to substitute the Board Secretary for 
the former Office of Consumer Protection in reference to appeals of 
chartering decisions.\85\ The final rule also corrects statutory and 
regulatory citations and cross-references in the Chartering Manual and 
its appendices, and updates those appendices to reflect current 
information and practices.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \85\ Appendix B, Ch. 2, sections II.C., II.C.6., III.C., 
III.C.6., IV.B., IV.B.5., V.C. and VII.D.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

III. Regulatory Procedures

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act requires NCUA to prepare an analysis 
to describe any significant economic impact a regulation may have on a 
substantial number of small entities.\86\ For purposes of this 
analysis, NCUA considers small credit unions to be those having under 
$100 million in assets.\87\ This rule is anticipated to economically 
benefit FCUs that choose to expand their FOMs, but not to the extent 
that it will affect a substantial number of small entities. In any 
case, NCUA certifies that the rule will not have a significant economic 
impact on small credit unions.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \86\ 5 U.S.C. 603(a).
    \87\ See 80 FR 57512 (Sept. 24, 2015).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Paperwork Reduction Act

    The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (``PRA'') \88\ applies to 
collections of information through which an agency creates a paperwork 
burden on regulated entities or the public, or revises existing 
burden.\89\ For purposes of the PRA, a paperwork burden may take the 
form of either a reporting, recordkeeping, or third-party disclosure 
requirement, also referred to as information collections.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \88\ 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.
    \89\ Id. Sec.  3507(d); 5 CFR part 1320.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person is required 
to respond to, nor shall any person be subject to a penalty for failure 
to comply with, a collection of information subject to the requirements 
of the PRA, unless that collection of information displays a currently 
valid OMB control number. This rule involves a collection of 
information approved under OMB control number 3133-0015--Chartering and 
Field of Membership Manual.
    The final rule creates new strategic options for FCUs, while 
requiring of them essentially the same information that the existing 
rule required to apply for and be granted a charter expansion or 
conversion, with two exceptions. It introduces a new form (NCUA 4015-A) 
within Appendix 4 to the Chartering and Field of Membership Manual that 
condenses the application process that otherwise would apply to the 
addition of certain groups to a multiple common bond FOM. Using this 
condensed version will streamline the application process and will no 
longer require completion of the Form 4015. By adding this option, no 
new burden is realized with the addition of NCUA 4015-A.
    Regarding a community common bond, the final rule permits a 
community FCU to add an area adjacent to the perimeter of an existing 
community consisting of a Single Political Jurisdiction, Core Based 
Statistical Area or Combined Statistical Area, based upon a narrative 
showing that residents on both sides of the perimeter interact or share 
common interests. For that purpose, the rule identifies compelling 
indicia of interaction or common interests that would be relevant in 
developing and supporting a narrative to establish that the residents 
of the expanded community meet the requirements of a well-defined local 
community.
    NCUA has determined that the procedure for an FCU to assemble such 
evidence of interaction or common interests, and to develop and submit 
a narrative summarizing the evidence to support its application to 
expand, would create a new information collection requirement. In the 
proposed rule, NCUA identified and described this new information 
collection requirement, estimating the time it would take to comply, 
and solicited commenters on the information collection aspects of the 
proposed rule. The sole commenter who addressed the information 
collection aspects of the proposed rule concluded without explanation 
that it would double the existing paperwork burden. The burden outlined 
in the December proposed rule revealed an increase of 26,160 hours due 
to the new and revised information collection requirements. With this 
estimated increase, the total burden

[[Page 88424]]

requested under OMB No. 3133-0015 is 44,223 hours.

Executive Order 13132

    Executive Order 13132 encourages independent regulatory agencies to 
consider the impact of their actions on state and local interests. To 
adhere to fundamental federalism principles, NCUA, an independent 
regulatory agency as defined in 44 U.S.C. 3502(5), voluntarily complies 
with the Executive Order. Primarily because this rule applies to FCUs 
exclusively, it will not have a substantial direct effect on the 
states, on the connection between the national government and the 
states, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the 
various levels of government. NCUA has determined this rule does not 
constitute a policy that has federalism implications for purposes of 
the Executive Order 13132.

Assessment of Federal Regulations and Policies on Families

    NCUA has determined that this final rule will not affect family 
well-being within the meaning of Section 654 of the Treasury and 
General Government Appropriations Act, 1999.\90\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \90\ Public Law 105-277, 112 Stat. 2681 (1998).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

    The Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 
(Pub. L. 104-121) (``SBREFA'') provides generally for congressional 
review of agency rules. A reporting requirement is triggered in 
instances where NCUA issues a final rule as defined by Section 551 of 
the Administrative Procedure Act.\91\ NCUA does not believe this final 
rule is a ``major rule'' within the meaning of the relevant sections of 
SBREFA, but as required, has submitted this final rule to OMB for its 
determination.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \91\ 5 U.S.C. 551.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

List of Subjects in 12 CFR Part 701

    Credit, Credit unions, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    By the National Credit Union Administration Board on October 27, 
2016.
Gerard S. Poliquin,
Secretary of the Board.

    For the reasons stated above, NCUA amends 12 CFR part 701 as 
follows:

PART 701--ORGANIZATION AND OPERATION OF FEDERAL CREDIT UNIONS

0
1. The authority for part 701 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  12 U.S.C. 1752(5), 1755, 1756, 1757, 1758, 1759, 
1761a, 1761b, 1766, 1767, 1782, 1784, 1786, 1787, 1789. Section 
701.6 is also authorized by 15 U.S.C. 3717. Section 701.31 is also 
authorized by 15 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.; 42 U.S.C. 1981 and 3601-3610. 
Section 701.35 is also authorized by 42 U.S.C. 4311-4312.


0
2. Appendix B to part 701 is revised to read as follows:

Appendix B to Part 701--Chartering and Field of Membership Manual

Chapter 1 -- Federal Credit Union Chartering

I--Goals of NCUA Chartering Policy

    The National Credit Union Administration's (NCUA) chartering and 
field of membership policies are directed toward achieving the 
following goals:
     To encourage the formation of credit unions;
     To uphold the provisions of the Federal Credit Union 
Act; \92\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \92\ 12 U.S.C. 1751 et seq.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

     To promote thrift and credit extension;
     To promote credit union safety and soundness; and
     To make quality credit union service available to all 
eligible persons.
    NCUA may grant a charter to single occupational/associational 
groups, multiple groups, or communities if:
     The occupational, associational, or multiple groups 
possess an appropriate common bond or the community represents a 
well-defined local community, neighborhood, or rural district;
     The subscribers are of good character and are fit to 
represent the proposed credit union; and
     The establishment of the credit union is economically 
advisable.
    Generally, these are the primary criteria that NCUA will 
consider. In unusual circumstances, however, NCUA may examine other 
factors, such as other federal law or public policy, in deciding if 
a charter should be approved.
    Unless otherwise noted, the policies outlined in this manual 
apply only to federal credit unions.

II--Types of Charters

    The Federal Credit Union Act recognizes three types of federal 
credit union charters-- single common bond (occupational and 
associational), multiple common bond (more than one group each 
having a common bond of occupation or association), and community.
    The requirements that must be met to charter a federal credit 
union are described in Chapter 2. Special rules for credit unions 
serving low-income groups are described in Chapter 3.
    If a federal credit union charter is granted, Section 5 of the 
charter will describe the credit union's field of membership, which 
defines those persons and entities eligible for membership. 
Generally, federal credit unions are only able to grant loans and 
provide services to persons within the field of membership who have 
become members of the credit union.

III--Subscribers

    Federal credit unions are generally organized by persons who 
volunteer their time and resources and are responsible for 
determining the interest, commitment, and economic advisability of 
forming a federal credit union. The organization of a successful 
federal credit union takes considerable planning and dedication.
    Persons interested in organizing a federal credit union should 
contact one of the credit union trade associations or the NCUA 
regional office serving the state in which the credit union will be 
organized. Lists of NCUA offices and credit union trade associations 
are shown in the appendices. NCUA will provide information to groups 
interested in pursuing a federal charter and will assist them in 
contacting an organizer.
    While anyone may organize a credit union, a person with training 
and experience in chartering new federal credit unions is generally 
the most effective organizer. However, extensive involvement by the 
group desiring credit union service is essential.
    The functions of the organizer are to provide direction, 
guidance, and advice on the chartering process. The organizer also 
provides the group with information about a credit union's functions 
and purpose as well as technical assistance in preparing and 
submitting the charter application. Close communication and 
cooperation between the organizer and the proposed members are 
critical to the chartering process.
    The Federal Credit Union Act requires that seven or more natural 
persons--the ``subscribers''--present to NCUA for approval a sworn 
organization certificate stating at a minimum:
     The name of the proposed federal credit union;
     The location of the proposed federal credit union and 
the territory in which it will operate;
     The names and addresses of the subscribers to the 
certificate and the number of shares subscribed by each;
     The initial par value of the shares;
     The detailed proposed field of membership; and
    
     The fact that the certificate is made to enable such 
persons to avail themselves of the advantages of the Federal Credit 
Union Act.
    Willfully and knowingly making false statements on any of the 
required documentation filed in obtaining a federal credit union 
charter may be grounds for federal criminal prosecution under 18 
U.S.C. 1001.

IV--Economic Advisability

IV.A--General

    Before chartering a federal credit union, NCUA must be satisfied 
that the institution will be viable and that it will provide needed 
services to its members. Economic advisability, which is a key 
factor in determining whether a potential charter will have a 
reasonable opportunity to succeed, is

[[Page 88425]]

essential in order to qualify for a credit union charter.
    NCUA will conduct an independent on-site investigation of each 
charter application to ensure that the proposed credit union can be 
successful. In general, the success of any credit union depends on: 
(a) The character and fitness of management; (b) the depth of the 
members' support; and (c) present and projected market conditions.

IV.B--Proposed Management's Character and Fitness

    The Federal Credit Union Act requires NCUA to ensure that the 
subscribers are of good ``general character and fitness.'' 
Prospective officials and employees will be the subject of credit 
and background investigations. The investigation report must 
demonstrate each applicant's ability to effectively handle financial 
matters. Employees and officials should also be competent, 
experienced, honest and of good character. Factors that may lead to 
disapproval of a prospective official or employee include criminal 
convictions, indictments, and acts of fraud and dishonesty. Further, 
factors such as serious or unresolved past due credit obligations 
and bankruptcies disclosed during credit checks may disqualify an 
individual.
    NCUA also needs reasonable assurance that the management team 
will have the requisite skills--particularly in leadership and 
accounting--and the commitment to dedicate the time and effort 
needed to make the proposed federal credit union a success.
    Section 701.14 of NCUA's Rules and Regulations sets forth the 
procedures for NCUA approval of officials of newly chartered credit 
unions. If the application of a prospective official or employee to 
serve is not acceptable to the Office of Consumer Financial 
Protection and Access Director, the group can propose an alternate 
to act in that individual's place. If the charter applicant feels it 
is essential that the disqualified individual be retained, the 
individual may appeal the Office of Consumer Financial Protection 
and Access Director's decision to the NCUA Board. If an appeal is 
pursued, action on the application may be delayed. If the appeal is 
denied by the NCUA Board, an acceptable new applicant must be 
provided before the charter can be approved.

IV.C--Member Support

    Economic advisability is a major factor in determining whether 
the credit union will be chartered. An important consideration is 
the degree of support from the field of membership. The charter 
applicant must be able to demonstrate that membership support is 
sufficient to ensure viability.
    NCUA has not set a minimum field of membership size for 
chartering a federal credit union. Consequently, groups of any size 
may apply for a credit union charter and be approved if they 
demonstrate economic advisability. However, it is important to note 
that often the size of the group is indicative of the potential for 
success. For that reason, a charter application with fewer than 
3,000 primary potential members (e.g., employees of a corporation or 
members of an association) may not be economically advisable. 
Therefore, a charter applicant with a proposed field of membership 
of fewer than 3,000 primary potential members may have to provide 
more support than an applicant with a larger field of membership. 
For example, a small occupational or associational group may be 
required to demonstrate a commitment for long-term support from the 
sponsor.

IV.D--Present and Future Market Conditions--Business Plan

    The ability to provide effective service to members, to compete 
in the marketplace, and to adapt to changing market conditions are 
key to the survival of any enterprise. Before NCUA will charter a 
credit union, a business plan based on realistic and supportable 
projections and assumptions must be submitted.
    The business plan should contain, at a minimum, the following 
elements:
     Mission statement;
     Analysis of market conditions, including if applicable, 
geographic, demographic, employment, income, housing, and other 
economic data;
     Evidence of member support;
     Goals for shares, loans, and for number of members;
     Financial services needed/desired;
     Financial services to be provided to members of all 
segments within the field of membership;
     How/when services are to be implemented;
     Organizational/management plan addressing qualification 
and planned training of officials/employees;
     Continuity plan for directors, committee members and 
management staff;
    
     Operating facilities, to include office space/equipment 
and supplies, safeguarding of assets, insurance coverage, etc.;
     Type of record-keeping and data processing system;
     Detailed semiannual pro forma financial statements 
(balance sheet, income and expense projections) for 1st and 2nd 
year, including assumptions--e.g., loan and dividend rates;
     Plans for operating independently;
     Written policies (shares, lending, investments, funds 
management, capital accumulation, dividends, collections, etc.);
     Source of funds to pay expenses during initial months 
of operation, including any subsidies, assistance, etc., and terms 
or conditions of such resources; and
     Evidence of sponsor commitment (or other source of 
support) if subsidies are critical to success of the federal credit 
union. Evidence may be in the form of letters, contracts, financial 
statements from the sponsor, and any other such document on which 
the proposed federal credit union can substantiate its projections.
    While the business plan may be prepared with outside assistance, 
the subscribers and proposed officials must understand and support 
the submitted business plan.

V--Steps in Organizing a Federal Credit Union

V.A--Getting Started

    Following the guidance contained throughout this policy, the 
organizers should submit wording for the proposed field of 
membership (the persons, organizations and other legal entities the 
credit union will serve) to NCUA early in the application process 
for written preliminary approval. The proposed field of membership 
must meet all common bond or community requirements.
    Once the field of membership has been given preliminary 
approval, the organizer should conduct an organizational meeting to 
elect seven to ten persons to serve as subscribers. The subscribers 
should locate willing individuals capable of serving on the board of 
directors, credit committee, supervisory committee, and as chief 
operating officer/manager of the proposed credit union.
    Subsequent organizational meetings may be held to discuss the 
progress of the charter investigation, to announce the proposed 
slate of officials, and to respond to any questions posed at these 
meetings.
    If NCUA approves the charter application, the subscribers, as 
their final duty, will elect the board of directors of the proposed 
federal credit union. The new board of directors will then appoint 
the supervisory committee.

V. B--Charter Application Documentation

V.B.1--General

    As discussed previously in this Chapter, the organizer of a 
federal credit union charter must, at a minimum, provide evidence 
that:
     The group(s) possess an appropriate common bond or the 
geographical area to be served is a well-defined local community, 
neighborhood, or rural district;
     The subscribers, prospective officials, and employees 
are of good character and fitness; and
     The establishment of the credit union is economically 
advisable.
    As part of the application process, the organizer must submit 
the following forms, which are available in appendix 4 of this 
Manual:
     Federal Credit Union Investigation Report, NCUA 4001;
     Organization Certificate, NCUA 4008;
    
     Report of Official and Agreement To Serve, NCUA 4012;
     Application and Agreements for Insurance of Accounts, 
NCUA 9500; and
     Certification of Resolutions, NCUA 9501.
    Each of these forms is described in more detail in the following 
sections.

V.B.2--Federal Credit Union Investigation Report, NCUA 4001

    The application for a new federal credit union will be submitted 
on NCUA 4001. State-chartered credit unions applying for conversion 
to a federal charter will use NCUA 4000. (See Chapter 4 for a full 
discussion.) The organizer is required to certify the information 
and recommend approval or disapproval, based on the investigation of 
the request.

[[Page 88426]]

V.B.3--Organization Certificate, NCUA 4008

    This document, which must be completed by the subscribers, 
includes the seven criteria established by the Federal Credit Union 
Act. NCUA staff assigned to the case will assist in the proper 
completion of this document.

V.B.4--Report of Official and Agreement To Serve, NCUA 4012

    This form documents general background information of each 
official and employee of the proposed federal credit union. Each 
official and employee must complete and sign this form. The 
organizer must review each of the NCUA 4012s for elements that would 
prevent the prospective official or employee from serving. Further, 
such factors as serious, unresolved past due credit obligations and 
bankruptcies disclosed during credit checks may disqualify an 
individual.

V.B.5--Application and Agreements for Insurance of Accounts, NCUA 9500

    This document contains the agreements with which federal credit 
unions must comply in order to obtain National Credit Union Share 
Insurance Fund (NCUSIF) coverage of member accounts. The document 
must be completed and signed by both the chief executive officer and 
chief financial officer. A federal credit union must qualify for 
federal share insurance.

V.B. 5--Certification of Resolutions, NCUA 9501

    This document certifies that the board of directors of the 
proposed federal credit union has resolved to apply for NCUSIF 
insurance of member accounts and has authorized the chief executive 
officer and recording officer to execute the Application and 
Agreements for Insurance of Accounts. Both the chief executive 
officer and recording officer of the proposed federal credit union 
must sign this form.

VI--Name Selection

    It is the responsibility of the federal credit union organizers 
or officials of an existing credit union to ensure that the proposed 
federal credit union name or federal credit union name change does 
not constitute an infringement on the name of any corporation in its 
trade area. This responsibility also includes researching any 
service marks or trademarks used by any other corporation (including 
credit unions) in its trade area. NCUA will ensure, to the extent 
possible, that the credit union's name:
     Is not already being officially used by another federal 
credit union;
     Will not be confused with NCUA or another federal or 
state agency, or with another credit union; and
     Does not include misleading or inappropriate language.
    The last three words in the name of every credit union chartered 
by NCUA must be ``Federal Credit Union.''
    The word ``community,'' while not required, can only be included 
in the name of federal credit unions that have been granted a 
community charter.

VII--NCUA Review

VII.A--General

    Once NCUA receives a complete charter application package, an 
acknowledgment of receipt will be sent to the organizer. During the 
review process, a staff member will be assigned to perform an on-
site contact with the proposed officials and others having an 
interest in the proposed federal credit union.
    NCUA staff will review the application package and verify its 
accuracy and reasonableness. A staff member will inquire into the 
financial management experience and the suitability and commitment 
of the proposed officials and employees, and will make an assessment 
of economic advisability. The staff member will also provide 
guidance to the subscribers in the proper completion of the 
Organization Certificate, NCUA 4008.
    Credit and background investigations may be conducted 
concurrently by NCUA with other work being performed by the 
organizer and subscribers to reduce the likelihood of delays in the 
chartering process.
    The staff member will analyze the prospective credit union's 
business plan for realistic projections, attainable goals, adequate 
service to all segments of the field of membership, sufficient 
start-up capital, and time commitment by the proposed officials and 
employees. Any concerns will be reviewed with the organizer and 
discussed with the prospective credit union's officials. Additional 
on-site contacts by NCUA staff may be necessary. The organizer and 
subscribers will be expected to take the steps necessary to resolve 
any issues or concerns. Such resolution efforts may delay processing 
the application.
    NCUA staff will then make a recommendation to the Office of 
Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director regarding the 
charter application. The recommendation may include specific 
provisions to be included in a Letter of Understanding and 
Agreement. In most cases, NCUA will require the prospective 
officials to adhere to certain operational guidelines. Generally, 
the agreement is for a limited term of two to four years. A sample 
Letter of Understanding and Agreement is found in appendix 2.

VII.B--Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director 
Approval

    Once approved, the board of directors of the newly formed 
federal credit union will receive a signed charter and standard 
bylaws from the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access 
Director. Additionally, the officials will be advised of the name of 
the examiner assigned responsibility for supervising and examining 
the credit union.

VII.C--Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director 
Disapproval

    When the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access 
Director disapproves any charter application, in whole or in part, 
the organizer will be informed in writing of the specific reasons 
for the disapproval. Where applicable, the Office of Consumer 
Financial Protection and Access Director will provide information 
concerning options or suggestions that the applicant could consider 
for gaining approval or otherwise acquiring credit union service. 
The letter of denial will include the procedures for appealing the 
decision.

VII.D--Appeal of Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access 
Director Decision

    If the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access 
Director denies a charter application, in whole or in part, that 
decision may be appealed to the NCUA Board. An appeal must be sent 
to the NCUA Board Secretary within 60 days of the date of denial and 
must address the specific reasons for denial. The appeal must be 
clearly identified as such and address the specific reason(s) the 
prospective group disagrees with the denial. A copy of the appeal 
must be sent to the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and 
Access Director. NCUA central office staff will make an independent 
review of the facts and present the appeal with a recommendation to 
the NCUA Board.
    Before appealing, the prospective group may, within 30 days of 
the denial, provide supplemental information to the Office of 
Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director for 
reconsideration. A reconsideration will contain new and material 
evidence addressing the reasons for the initial denial. The Office 
of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director will have 30 
days from the date of the receipt of the request for reconsideration 
to make a final decision. If the request is again denied, the 
applicant may proceed with the appeal process within 60 days of the 
date of the last denial. A second request for reconsideration will 
be treated as an appeal to the NCUA Board.

VII.E--Commencement of Operations

    Assistance in commencing operations is generally available 
through the various credit union trade organizations listed in 
appendix 5.
    All new federal credit unions are also encouraged to establish a 
mentor relationship with a knowledgeable, experienced credit union 
individual or an existing, well-operated credit union. The mentor 
should provide guidance and assistance to the new credit union 
through attendance at meetings and general oversight. Upon request, 
NCUA will provide assistance in finding a qualified mentor.

VIII--Future Supervision

    Each federal credit union will be examined regularly by NCUA to 
determine that it remains in compliance with applicable laws and 
regulations and to determine that it does not pose undue risk to the 
NCUSIF. The examiner will contact the credit union officials shortly 
after approval of the charter in order to arrange for the initial 
examination (usually within the first six months of operation).
    The examiner will be responsible for monitoring the progress of 
the credit union and providing the necessary advice and guidance to 
ensure it is in compliance with applicable laws and regulations. The 
examiner will also monitor compliance with the terms of any required 
Letter of

[[Page 88427]]

Understanding and Agreement. Typically, the examiner will require 
the credit union to submit copies of monthly board minutes and 
financial statements.
    The Federal Credit Union Act requires all newly chartered credit 
unions, up to two years after the charter anniversary date, to 
obtain NCUA approval prior to appointment of any new board member, 
credit or supervisory committee member, or senior executive officer. 
Section 701.14 of the NCUA Rules and Regulations sets forth the 
notice and application requirements. If NCUA issues a Notice of 
Disapproval, the newly chartered credit union is prohibited from 
making the change.
    NCUA may disapprove an individual serving as a director, 
committee member or senior executive officer if it finds that the 
competence, experience, character, or integrity of the individual 
indicates it would not be in the best interests of the members of 
the credit union or of the public to permit the individual to be 
employed by or associated with the credit union. If a Notice of 
Disapproval is issued, the credit union may appeal the decision to 
the NCUA Board.

IX--Corporate Federal Credit Unions

    A corporate federal credit union is one that is operated 
primarily for the purpose of serving other credit unions. Corporate 
federal credit unions are not governed by this manual, but instead 
operate under and are administered by the NCUA Office of National 
Examinations and Supervision.

X--Groups Seeking Credit Union Service

    NCUA will attempt to assist any group in chartering a credit 
union or joining an existing credit union. If the group is not 
eligible for federal credit union service, NCUA will refer the group 
to the appropriate state supervisory authority where different 
requirements may apply.

XI--Field of Membership Designations

    NCUA will designate a credit union based on the following 
criteria:
    Single Occupational: If a credit union serves a single 
occupational sponsor, such as ABC Corporation, it will be designated 
as an occupational credit union. A single occupational common bond 
credit union may also serve a trade, industry, or profession (TIP), 
such as all teachers.
    Single Associational: If a credit union serves a single 
associational sponsor, such as the Knights of Columbus, it will be 
designated as an associational credit union.
    Multiple Common Bond: If a credit union serves more than one 
group, each of which has a common bond of occupation and/or 
association, it will be designated as a multiple common bond credit 
union.
    Community: All community credit unions will be designated as 
such, followed by a description of their geographic boundaries, 
including but not limited to city or county boundaries, roadways, 
rivers, transportation lines.
    Credit unions desiring to confirm or submit an application to 
change their designations should contact the Office of Consumer 
Financial Protection and Access.

XII--Foreign Branching

    A federal credit union is permitted to serve foreign nationals 
within its field of membership wherever such individuals reside if 
management has the ability and resources to serve them. Before a 
credit union opens a branch outside the United States, it must 
submit an application to do so and have prior written approval of 
the regional director or Office of National Examinations and 
Supervision Director. A federal credit union may establish a service 
facility on a United States military installation or United States 
embassy without prior NCUA approval.

Chapter 2 -- Field of Membership Requirements for Federal Credit Unions

I--Introduction

I.A.1--General

    As set forth in Chapter 1, the Federal Credit Union Act provides 
for three types of federal credit union charters--single common bond 
(occupational or associational), multiple common bond (multiple 
groups), and community. Section 109 (12 U.S.C. 1759) of the Federal 
Credit Union Act addresses the membership requirements for each type 
of charter.
    The field of membership, which is specified in Section 5 of the 
charter, defines those persons and entities eligible for membership. 
A single common bond federal credit union consists of one group 
having a common bond of occupation or association. A multiple common 
bond federal credit union consists of more than one group, each of 
which has a common bond of occupation or association. A community 
federal credit union consists of persons or organizations within a 
well-defined local community, neighborhood, or rural district.
    Once chartered, a federal credit union can amend its field of 
membership; however, the same common bond or community requirements 
for chartering the credit union must be satisfied. Since there are 
differences in the three types of charters, special rules apply to 
each, which are fully discussed in the following sections of this 
Chapter.

I.A. 2--Special Low-Income Rules

    Generally, federal credit unions can only grant loans and 
provide services to persons who have joined the credit union. The 
Federal Credit Union Act states that one of the purposes of federal 
credit unions is ``to serve the productive and provident credit 
needs of individuals of modest means.'' Although field of membership 
requirements are applicable, special rules set forth in Chapter 3 
may apply to low-income designated credit unions and those credit 
unions assisting low-income groups or to a federal credit union that 
adds an underserved community to its field of membership.

II--Occupational Common Bond

II.A.1--General

    A single occupational common bond federal credit union may 
include in its field of membership all persons and entities who 
share that common bond. NCUA permits a person's membership 
eligibility in a single occupational common bond group to be 
established in five ways:
     Employment (or a contractual relationship equivalent to 
employment) in a single corporation or other legal entity makes that 
person part of a single occupational common bond;
     Employment in a corporation or other legal entity with 
a controlling ownership interest (which shall not be less than 10 
percent) in or by another legal entity makes that person part of a 
single occupational common bond;
     Employment in a corporation or other legal entity which 
is related to another legal entity (such as a company under contract 
and possessing a strong dependency relationship with another 
company) makes that person part of a single occupational common 
bond;
     Employment or attendance at a school makes that person 
part of a single occupational common bond (see Chapter 2, Section 
III.A.1); or
     Employment in the same Trade, Industry, or Profession 
(TIP) (see Chapter 2, Section II.A.2).
    A geographic limitation is not a requirement for a single 
occupational common bond. However, for purposes of describing the 
field of membership, the geographic areas being served may be 
included in the charter. For example:
     Employees, officials, and persons who work regularly 
under contract in Miami, Florida for ABC Corporation and 
subsidiaries;
     Employees of ABC Corporation who are paid from * * *;
     Employees of ABC Corporation who are supervised from * 
* *;
     Employees of ABC Corporation who are headquartered in * 
* *; and/or
     Employees of ABC Corporation who work in the United 
States.
    The corporation or other legal entity (i.e., the employer) may 
also be included in the common bond--e.g., ``ABC Corporation.'' The 
corporation or legal entity will be defined in the last clause in 
Section 5 of the credit union's charter.
    A charter applicant must provide documentation to establish that 
the single occupational common bond requirement has been met.
    Some examples of valid single occupational common bonds are:
     Employees of the Hunt Manufacturing Company who work in 
West Chester, Pennsylvania. (common bond--same employer with 
geographic definition);
     Employees of the Buffalo Manufacturing Company who work 
in the United States. (common bond--same employer with geographic 
definition);
     Employees, elected and appointed officials of municipal 
government in Parma, Ohio. (common bond--same employer with 
geographic definition);
     Employees of Johnson Soap Company and its majority 
owned subsidiary, Johnson Toothpaste Company, who work in, are paid 
from, are supervised from, or are headquartered in Augusta and 
Portland, Maine. (common bond--parent and subsidiary company with 
geographic definition);
    
     Employees of MMLLJS contractor who work regularly at 
the U.S. Naval Shipyard in

[[Page 88428]]

Bremerton, Washington. (common bond--employees of contractors with 
geographic definition);
     Employees, doctors, medical staff, technicians, medical 
and nursing students who work in or are paid from the Newport Beach 
Medical Center, Newport Beach, California. (single corporation with 
geographic definition);
     Employees of JLS, Incorporated and MJM, Incorporated 
working for the LKM Joint Venture Company in Catalina Island, 
California. (common bond--same employer--ongoing dependent 
relationship);
     Employees of and students attending Georgetown 
University. (common bond--same occupation);
     Employees of all the schools supervised by the Timbrook 
Board of Education in Timbrook, Georgia. (common bond--same 
employer); or
     All licensed nurses in Fairfax County, Virginia. 
(occupational common bond TIP).
    In contrast, some examples of insufficiently defined single 
occupational common bonds are:
     Employees of manufacturing firms in Seattle, 
Washington. (no defined occupational sponsor; overly broad TIP);
     Persons employed or working in Chicago, Illinois. (no 
occupational common bond).

II.A. 2--Trade, Industry, or Profession

    A common bond based on employment in a trade, industry, or 
profession can include employment at any number of corporations or 
other legal entities that--while not under common ownership--have a 
common bond by virtue of producing similar products, providing 
similar services, or participating in the same type of business.
    While proposed or existing single common bond credit unions have 
some latitude in defining a trade, industry, or profession 
occupational common bond, it cannot be defined so broadly as to 
include groups in fields which are not closely related. For example, 
the manufacturing industry, energy industry, communications 
industry, retail industry, or entertainment industry would not 
qualify as a TIP because each industry lacks the necessary 
commonality. However, textile workers, realtors, nurses, teachers, 
police officers, or U.S. military personnel are closely related and 
each would qualify as a TIP.
    The common bond relationship must be one that demonstrates a 
narrow commonality of interests within a specific trade, industry, 
or profession. If a credit union wants to serve a physician TIP, it 
can serve all physicians, but that does not mean it can also serve 
all clerical staff in the physicians' offices. However, if the TIP 
is based on the health care industry, then clerical staff would be 
able to be served by the credit union because they work in the same 
industry and have the same commonality of interests.
    If a credit union wants to include the airline services 
industry, it can serve airline and airport personnel but not 
passengers. Clients or customers of the TIP are not eligible for 
credit union membership (e.g., patients in hospitals). Any company 
that is involved in more than one industry cannot be included in an 
industry TIP (e.g., a company that makes tobacco products, food 
products, and electronics). However, employees of these companies 
may be eligible for membership in a variety of trade/profession 
occupational common bond TIPs.
    Although a TIP should be narrowly defined, and ordinarily would 
not include third-party vendors and other suppliers, it may include, 
on a case by case basis, employees of types of entities that have a 
``strong dependency relationship'' and work directly with other 
types of entities within the industry. In this context, a ``strong 
dependency relationship'' between a TIP entity and its supplier/
vendor must be demonstrated by their reliance on each other as 
measured by the presence of indicators of a likelihood that the 
absence of one would cause the other to suffer a material decline in 
either revenue, functionality or productivity.
    Under this definition, a firm whose employees are specially 
trained to protect nuclear facilities, and whose employees work 
primarily at such facilities, could be a part of a TIP based on the 
firm's participation in the nuclear energy industry.
    Other ``strong relationship'' indicators NCUA would consider 
include the regularity or frequency of work that employees of the 
entity perform at facilities directly related to the industry, or 
the degree to which employees must adjust their work practices to 
adapt to the needs of the industry. For example, a company's focus 
on producing specialized confectionary products for a hotel chain 
could add that company to a hospitality industry TIP. A credit union 
seeking to include a clause of this type in its TIP charter must 
provide a brief narrative identifying indicators that support the 
existence of a strong dependency relationship between the TIP entity 
and its individual supplier/vendors.
    Likewise, an FCU may serve employees of companies within the 
commercial airline industry that have a strong dependency 
relationship with airlines or airports, without the limitation that 
these employees work at an airport. However, these employees must 
work directly with the following: Air transportation of freight, air 
courier services; air passenger services; airport baggage handling; 
airport security; commercial airport janitorial services; 
maintenance, servicing, and repair services; and on board airline 
food services. The employees of those entities have a narrow 
commonality of interests, share the single occupational common bond, 
and can be included within the Air Transportation Industry field of 
membership.
    In general, except for credit unions serving a national field of 
membership or operating in multiple states, a geographic limitation 
is required for a TIP credit union. The geographic limitation will 
be part of the credit union's charter and generally correspond to 
its current or planned operational area. More than one federal 
credit union may serve the same trade, industry, or profession, even 
if both credit unions are in the same geographic location.
    This type of occupational common bond is only available to 
single common bond credit unions. A TIP cannot be added to a 
multiple common bond or community field of membership.
    To obtain a TIP designation, the proposed or existing credit 
union must submit a request to the Office of Consumer Financial 
Protection and Access Director. New charter applicants must follow 
the documentation requirements in Chapter 1. New charter applicants 
and existing credit unions must submit a business plan on how the 
credit union will serve the group with the request to serve the TIP. 
The business plan also must address how the credit union will verify 
the TIP. Examples of such verification include state licenses, 
professional licenses, organizational memberships, pay statements, 
union membership, or employer certification. The Office of Consumer 
Financial Protection and Access Director must approve this type of 
field of membership before a credit union can serve a TIP. Credit 
unions converting to a TIP can retain members of record but cannot 
add new members from its previous group or groups, unless the group 
or groups are part of the TIP.
    Section II.B on Occupational Common Bond Amendments does not 
apply to a TIP common bond. Removing or changing a geographical 
limitation will be processed as a housekeeping amendment. If safety 
and soundness concerns are present, the Office of Consumer Financial 
Protection and Access Director may require additional information 
before the request can be processed.
    Section II.H, on Other Persons Eligible for Credit Union 
Membership, applies to TIP based credit unions except for the 
corporate account provision which only applies to industry based 
TIPs. Credit unions with industry based TIPs may include 
corporations as members because they have the same commonality of 
interests as all employees in the industry. For example, an airline 
service TIP (industry) can serve an airline carrier (corporate 
account); however, a nurses TIP (profession) could not serve a 
hospital (corporate account) because not everyone working in the 
hospital shares the same profession.
    If a TIP designated credit union wishes to convert to a 
different TIP or employer-based occupational common bond, or 
different charter type, it only retains members of record after the 
conversion. The Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access 
Director, for safety and soundness reasons, may approve a TIP 
designated credit union to convert to its original field of 
membership.

II.B--Occupational Common Bond Amendments

II.B.1--General

    Section 5 of every single occupational federal credit union's 
charter defines the field of membership the credit union can legally 
serve. Only those persons or legal entities specified in the field 
of membership can be served. There are a number of instances in 
which Section 5 must be amended by NCUA.
    First, a group sharing the credit union's common bond is added 
to the field of membership. This may occur through various ways 
including agreement between the group and the credit union directly, 
or through a

[[Page 88429]]

merger, corporate acquisition, purchase and assumption (P&A), or 
spin-off.
    Second, if the entire field of membership is acquired by another 
corporation, the credit union can serve the employees of the new 
corporation and any subsidiaries after receiving NCUA approval.
    Third, a federal credit union qualifies to change its common 
bond from:
     A single occupational common bond to a single 
associational common bond;
    
     A single occupational common bond to a community 
charter; or
     A single occupational common bond to a multiple common 
bond.
    Fourth, a federal credit union removes a portion of the group 
from its field of membership through agreement with the group, a 
spin-off, or because a portion of the group is no longer in 
existence.
    An existing single occupational common bond federal credit union 
that submits a request to amend its charter must provide 
documentation to establish that the occupational common bond 
requirement has been met. The Office of Consumer Financial 
Protection and Access Director must approve all amendments to an 
occupational common bond credit union's field of membership.

II.B.Restructuring

    If the single common bond group that comprises a federal credit 
union's field of membership undergoes a substantial restructuring, 
the result is often that portions of the group are sold or spun off. 
This requires a change to the credit union's field of membership. 
NCUA will not permit a single common bond credit union to maintain 
in its field of membership a sold or spun-off group to which it has 
been providing service unless the group otherwise qualifies for 
membership in the credit union or the credit union converts to a 
multiple common bond credit union.
    If the group comprising the single common bond of the credit 
union merges with, or is acquired by, another group, the credit 
union can serve the new group resulting from the merger or 
acquisition after receiving a housekeeping amendment.

II.B.3--Economic Advisability

    Prior to granting a common bond expansion, NCUA will examine the 
amendment's likely effect on the credit union's operations and 
financial condition. In most cases, the information needed for 
analyzing the effect of adding a particular group will be available 
to NCUA through the examination and financial and statistical 
reports; however, in particular cases, the Office of Consumer 
Financial Protection and Access Director may require additional 
information prior to making a decision.

II.B.Documentation Requirements

    A federal credit union requesting a common bond expansion must 
submit an Application for Field of Membership Amendment (NCUA 4015-
EZ) to the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access 
Director. An authorized credit union representative must sign the 
request.

II.C--NCUA's Procedures for Amending the Field of Membership

II.C.1--General

    All requests for approval to amend a federal credit union's 
charter must be submitted to the Office of Consumer Financial 
Protection and Access Director.

II.C.2--Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director 
Decision

    NCUA staff will review all amendment requests in order to ensure 
compliance with NCUA policy.
    Before acting on a proposed amendment, the Office of Consumer 
Financial Protection and Access Director may require an on-site 
review. In addition, the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and 
Access Director may, after taking into account the significance of 
the proposed field of membership amendment, require the applicant to 
submit a business plan addressing specific issues.
    The financial and operational condition of the requesting credit 
union will be considered in every instance. NCUA will carefully 
consider the economic advisability of expanding the field of 
membership of a credit union with financial or operational problems.
    In most cases, field of membership amendments will only be 
approved for credit unions that are operating satisfactorily. 
Generally, if a federal credit union is having difficulty providing 
service to its current membership, or is experiencing financial or 
other operational problems, it may have more difficulty serving an 
expanded field of membership.
    Occasionally, however, an expanded field of membership may 
provide the basis for reversing current financial problems. In such 
cases, an amendment to expand the field of membership may be granted 
notwithstanding the credit union's financial or operational 
problems. The applicant credit union must clearly establish that the 
expanded field of membership is in the best interest of the members 
and will not increase the risk to the NCUSIF.

II.C.3--Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director 
Approval

    If the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access 
Director approves the requested amendment, the credit union will be 
issued an amendment to Section 5 of its charter.

II.C.4--Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director 
Disapproval

    When the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access 
Director disapproves any application, in whole or in part, to amend 
the field of membership under this chapter, the applicant will be 
informed in writing of the:
     Specific reasons for the action;
     Options to consider, if appropriate, for gaining 
approval; and
     Appeal procedure.

II.C.5--Appeal of Office of Consumer Financial Protection and 
Access Director Decision

    If a field of membership expansion request, merger, or spin-off 
is denied by staff, the federal credit union may appeal the decision 
to the NCUA Board. An appeal must be sent to the NCUA Board 
Secretary within 60 days of the date of denial. The appeal must be 
clearly identified as such and must address the specific reason(s) 
the federal credit union disagrees with the denial. A copy of the 
appeal must be sent to the Office of Consumer Financial Protection 
and Access, or as applicable, the appropriate regional office or 
Office of National Examinations and Supervision Director. NCUA 
central office staff will make an independent review of the facts 
and present the appeal to the Board with a recommendation.
    Before appealing, the credit union may, within 30 days of the 
denial, provide supplemental information to the office rendering the 
initial decision for reconsideration. A reconsideration will contain 
new and material evidence addressing the reasons for the initial 
denial. The office rendering the initial decision will have 30 days 
from the date of the receipt of the request for reconsideration to 
make a final decision. If the request is again denied, the applicant 
may proceed with the appeal process within 60 days of the date of 
the last denial. A second request for reconsideration will be 
treated as an appeal to the NCUA Board.

II.D--Mergers, Purchase and Assumptions, and Spin-Offs

    In general, other than the addition of common bond groups, there 
are three additional ways a federal credit union with a single 
occupational common bond can expand its field of membership:
     By taking in the field of membership of another credit 
union through a common bond or emergency merger;
     By taking in the field of membership of another credit 
union through a common bond or emergency purchase and assumption 
(P&A); or
     By taking a portion of another credit union's field of 
membership through a common bond spin-off.

II.D.1--Mergers

    Generally, the requirements applicable to field of membership 
expansions found in this chapter apply to mergers where the 
continuing credit union has a federal charter. That is, the two 
credit unions must share a common bond.
    Where the merging credit union is state-chartered, the common 
bond rules applicable to a federal credit union apply.
    Mergers must be approved by the NCUA regional director or Office 
of National Examinations and Supervision Director where the 
continuing credit union is headquartered, with the concurrence of 
the regional director or Office of National Examinations and 
Supervision Director of the merging credit union, and, as 
applicable, the state regulators.
    If a single occupational credit union wants to merge into a 
multiple common bond or

[[Page 88430]]

community credit union, Section IV.D or Section V.D of this Chapter, 
respectively, should be reviewed.

II.D.Emergency Mergers

    An emergency merger may be approved by NCUA without regard to 
common bond or other legal constraints. An emergency merger involves 
NCUA's direct intervention and approval. The credit union to be 
merged must either be insolvent or in danger of insolvency, as 
defined in the Glossary, and NCUA must determine that:
     An emergency requiring expeditious action exists;
     Other alternatives are not reasonably available; and
     The public interest would best be served by approving 
the merger.
    If not corrected, conditions that could lead to insolvency 
include, but are not limited to:
     Abandonment by management;
     Loss of sponsor;
     Serious and persistent recordkeeping problems; or
    
     Serious and persistent operational concerns.
    In an emergency merger situation, NCUA will take an active role 
in finding a suitable merger partner (continuing credit union). NCUA 
is primarily concerned that the continuing credit union has the 
financial strength and management expertise to absorb the troubled 
credit union without adversely affecting its own financial condition 
and stability.
    As a stipulated condition to an emergency merger, the field of 
membership of the merging credit union may be transferred intact to 
the continuing federal credit union without regard to any common 
bond restrictions. Under this authority, therefore, a single 
occupational common bond federal credit union may take into its 
field of membership any dissimilar charter type.
    The common bond characteristic of the continuing credit union in 
an emergency merger does not change. That is, even though the 
merging credit union is a multiple common bond or community, the 
continuing credit union will remain a single common bond credit 
union. Similarly, if the merging credit union is also an unlike 
single common bond, the continuing credit union will remain a single 
common bond credit union. Future common bond expansions will be 
based on the continuing credit union's original single common bond.
    Emergency mergers involving federally insured credit unions in 
different NCUA field regions must be approved by the regional 
director or Office of National Examinations and Supervision Director 
where the continuing credit union is headquartered, with the 
concurrence of the regional director or Office of National 
Examinations and Supervision Director of the merging credit union 
and, as applicable, the state regulators.

II.D.Purchase and Assumption (P&A)

    Another alternative for acquiring the field of membership of a 
failing credit union is through a consolidation known as a P&A. A 
P&A has limited application because, in most cases, the failing 
credit union must be placed into involuntary liquidation. In the few 
instances where a P&A may be appropriate, the assuming federal 
credit union, as with emergency mergers, may acquire the entire 
field of membership if the emergency merger criteria are satisfied. 
However, if the P&A does not meet the emergency merger criteria, it 
must be processed under the common bond requirements.
    In a P&A processed under the emergency criteria, specified 
loans, shares, and certain other designated assets and liabilities, 
without regard to common bond restrictions, may also be acquired 
without changing the character of the continuing federal credit 
union for purposes of future field of membership amendments.
    If the purchased and/or assumed credit union's field of 
membership does not share a common bond with the purchasing and/or 
assuming credit union, then the continuing credit union's original 
common bond will be controlling for future common bond expansions.
    P&As involving federally insured credit unions in different NCUA 
regions must be approved by the regional director or Office of 
National Examinations and Supervision Director where the continuing 
credit union is headquartered, with the concurrence of the regional 
director or Office of National Examinations and Supervision Director 
of the purchased and/or assumed credit union and, as applicable, the 
state regulators.

II.D.4--Spin-Offs

    A spin-off occurs when, by agreement of the parties, a portion 
of the field of membership, assets, liabilities, shares, and capital 
of a credit union are transferred to a new or existing credit union. 
A spin-off is unique in that usually one credit union has a field of 
membership expansion and the other loses a portion of its field of 
membership.
    All common bond requirements apply regardless of whether the 
spun-off group becomes a new credit union or goes to an existing 
federal charter.
    The request for approval of a spin-off must be supported with a 
plan that addresses, at a minimum:
     Why the spin-off is being requested;
     What part of the field of membership is to be spun off;
     Whether the affected credit unions have a common bond 
(applies only to single occupational credit unions);
     Which assets, liabilities, shares, and capital are to 
be transferred;
     The financial impact the spin-off will have on the 
affected credit unions;
     The ability of the acquiring credit union to 
effectively serve the new members;
     The proposed spin-off date; and
     Disclosure to the members of the requirements set forth 
above.
    The spin-off request must also include current financial 
statements from the affected credit unions and the proposed voting 
ballot.
    For federal credit unions spinning off a group, membership 
notice and voting requirements and procedures are the same as for 
mergers (see part 708 of the NCUA Rules and Regulations), except 
that only the members directly affected by the spin-off--those whose 
shares are to be transferred--are permitted to vote. Members whose 
shares are not being transferred will not be afforded the 
opportunity to vote. All members of the group to be spun off 
(whether they voted in favor, against, or not at all) will be 
transferred if the spin-off is approved by the voting membership. 
Voting requirements for federally insured state credit unions are 
governed by state law.
    Spin-offs involving federally insured credit unions in different 
NCUA regions must be approved by all regional directors and, if 
applicable, Office of National Examinations and Supervision Director 
where the credit unions are headquartered and the state regulators, 
as applicable. Spin-offs in the same region also require approval by 
the state regulator, as applicable. Spin-offs involving the creation 
of a new federally insured credit union require the approval of the 
Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director. The 
Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access also provides 
advice regarding field of membership compatibility when appropriate.

II.E--Overlaps

II.E.1--General

    An overlap exists when a group of persons is eligible for 
membership in two or more credit unions. NCUA will permit single 
occupational federal credit unions to overlap any other charter 
without performing an overlap analysis.

II.E.Organizational Restructuring

    A federal credit union's field of membership will always be 
governed by the common bond descriptions contained in Section 5 of 
its charter. Where a sponsor organization expands its operations 
internally, by acquisition or otherwise, the credit union may serve 
these new entrants to its field of membership if they are part of 
the common bond described in Section 5. NCUA will permit a complete 
overlap of the credit unions' fields of membership.
    If a sponsor organization sells off a group, new members can no 
longer be served unless they otherwise qualify for membership in the 
credit union or it converts to a multiple common bond charter.
    Credit unions must submit documentation explaining the 
restructuring and providing information regarding the new 
organizational structure.

II.E.3--Exclusionary Clauses

    An exclusionary clause is a limitation precluding the credit 
union from serving the primary members of a portion of a group 
otherwise included in its field of membership. NCUA no longer grants 
exclusionary clauses. Those granted prior to the adoption of this 
new Chartering and Field of Membership Manual will remain in effect 
unless the credit unions agree to remove them or one of the affected 
credit unions submits a housekeeping amendment to have it removed.

II.F--Charter Conversion

    A single occupational common bond federal credit union may apply 
to convert to a community charter provided the field of

[[Page 88431]]

membership requirements of the community charter are met. Groups 
within the existing charter which cannot qualify in the new charter 
cannot be served except for members of record, or groups or 
communities obtained in an emergency merger or P&A. A credit union 
must notify all groups that will be removed from the field of 
membership as a result of conversion. Members of record can continue 
to be served. Also, in order to support a case for a conversion, the 
applicant federal credit union may be required to develop a detailed 
business plan as specified in Chapter 2, Section V.A.3.
    A single occupational common bond federal credit union may apply 
to convert to a multiple common bond charter by adding a non-common 
bond group that is within a reasonable proximity of a service 
facility. Groups within the existing charter may be retained and 
continue to be served. However, future amendments, including any 
expansions of the original single common bond group, must be done in 
accordance with multiple common bond policy.

II.G--Removal of Groups From the Field of Membership

    A credit union may request removal of a portion of the common 
bond group from its field of membership for various reasons. The 
most common reasons for this type of amendment are:
     The group is within the field of membership of two 
credit unions and one wishes to discontinue service;
     The federal credit union cannot continue to provide 
adequate service to the group;
     The group has ceased to exist;
     The group does not respond to repeated requests to 
contact the credit union or refuses to provide needed support; or
     The group initiates action to be removed from the field 
of membership.
    When a federal credit union requests an amendment to remove a 
group from its field of membership, the Office of Consumer Financial 
Protection and Access Director will determine why the credit union 
desires to remove the group. If the Office of Consumer Financial 
Protection and Access Director concurs with the request, membership 
will continue for those who are already members under the ``once a 
member, always a member'' provision of the Federal Credit Union Act.

II.H--Other Persons Eligible for Credit Union Membership

    A number of persons, by virtue of their close relationship to a 
common bond group, may be included, at the charter applicant's 
option, in the field of membership. These include the following:
     Spouses of persons who died while within the field of 
membership of this credit union;
     Employees of this credit union;
     Persons retired as pensioners or annuitants from the 
above employment;
     Volunteers;
     Members of the immediate family or household;
    
     Honorably discharged veterans who served in any of the 
Armed Services of the United States listed in this charter;
    Organizations of such persons; and
     Corporate or other legal entities in this charter.
    Immediate family is defined as spouse, child, sibling, parent, 
grandparent, or grandchild. This includes stepparents, stepchildren, 
stepsiblings, and adoptive relationships.
    Household is defined as persons living in the same residence 
maintaining a single economic unit.
    Membership eligibility is extended only to individuals who are 
members of an ``immediate family or household'' of a credit union 
member. It is not necessary for the primary member to join the 
credit union in order for the immediate family or household member 
of the primary member to join, provided the immediate family or 
household clause is included in the field of membership. However, it 
is necessary for the immediate family member or household member to 
first join in order for that person's immediate family member or 
household member to join the credit union. A credit union can adopt 
a more restrictive definition of immediate family or household.
    Volunteers, by virtue of their close relationship with a sponsor 
group, may be included. Examples include volunteers working at a 
hospital or school.
    Under the Federal Credit Union Act, once a person becomes a 
member of the credit union, such person may remain a member of the 
credit union until the person chooses to withdraw or is expelled 
from the membership of the credit union. This is commonly referred 
to as ``once a member, always a member.'' The ``once a member, 
always a member'' provision does not prevent a credit union from 
restricting services to members who are no longer within the field 
of membership.

III--Associational Common Bond

III.A.1--General

    A single associational federal credit union may include in its 
field of membership, regardless of location, all members and 
employees of a recognized association. A single associational common 
bond consists of individuals (natural persons) and/or groups (non-
natural persons) whose members participate in activities developing 
common loyalties, mutual benefits, and mutual interests. Separately 
chartered associational groups can establish a single common bond 
relationship if they are integrally related and share common goals 
and purposes. For example, two or more churches of the same 
denomination, Knights of Columbus Councils, or locals of the same 
union can qualify as a single associational common bond. Individuals 
and groups eligible for membership in a single associational credit 
union can include the following:
     Natural person members of the association (for example, 
members of a union or church members);
     Non-natural person members of the association;
     Employees of the association (for example, employees of 
the labor union or employees of the church); and
     The association.
    Generally, a single associational common bond does not include a 
geographic definition and can operate nationally. However, a 
proposed or existing federal credit union may limit its field of 
membership to a single association or geographic area. NCUA may 
impose a geographic limitation if it is determined that the 
applicant credit union does not have the ability to serve a larger 
group or there are other operational concerns. All single 
associational common bonds should include a definition of the group 
that may be served based on the association's charter, bylaws, and 
any other equivalent documentation.
    Applicants for a single associational common bond federal credit 
union charter or a field of membership amendment to include an 
association must provide, at the request of NCUA, a copy of the 
association's charter, bylaws, or other equivalent documentation, 
including any legal documents required by the state or other 
governing authority. The associational sponsor itself may also be 
included in the field of membership--e.g., ``Sprocket 
Association''--and will be shown in the last clause of the field of 
membership.

III.A.1.a--Threshold Requirement Regarding the Purpose for Which an 
Associational Group Is Formed and the Totality of the Circumstances 
Criteria

    As a threshold matter, when reviewing an application to include 
an association in a federal credit union's field of membership, NCUA 
will determine if the association has been formed primarily for the 
purpose of expanding credit union membership. If NCUA makes such a 
determination, then the analysis ends and the association is denied 
inclusion in the federal credit union's field of membership. If NCUA 
determines that the association was formed to serve some other 
separate function as an organization, then NCUA will apply the 
following totality of the circumstances test to determine if the 
association satisfies the associational common bond requirements. 
The totality of the circumstances test consists of the following 
factors:
    1. Whether the association provides opportunities for members to 
participate in the furtherance of the goals of the association;
    2. Whether the association maintains a membership list;
    1.
    3. Whether the association sponsors other activities;
    4. Whether the association's membership eligibility requirements 
are authoritative;
    5. Whether members pay dues;
    6. Whether the members have voting rights; to meet this 
requirement, members need not vote directly for an officer, but may 
vote for a delegate who in turn represents the members' interests;
    7. The frequency of meetings; and
    8. Separateness--NCUA reviews if there is corporate separateness 
between the group and the federal credit union. The group and the 
federal credit union must operate in a way that demonstrates the 
separate corporate existence of each entity. Specifically, this 
means the federal credit union's and the group's respective business 
transactions, accounts, and corporate records are not intermingled.

[[Page 88432]]

    No one factor alone is determinative of membership eligibility 
as an association. The totality of the circumstances controls over 
any individual factor in the test. However, NCUA's primary focus 
will be on factors 1-4.

III.A.1.Pre-Approved Groups

    NCUA automatically approves the below groups as satisfying the 
associational common bond provisions. NCUA only approves regular 
members of an approved group. Honorary, affiliate, or non-regular 
members do not qualify.
    These groups are:
    (1) Alumni associations;
    (2) Religious organizations, including churches or groups of 
related churches;
    (3) Electric cooperatives;
    (4) Homeowner associations;
    (1)
    (5) Labor unions;
    (6) Scouting groups;
    (7) Parent teacher associations (PTAs) organized at the local 
level to serve a single school district;
    (8) Chamber of commerce groups (members only and not employees 
of members);
    (9) Athletic booster clubs whose members have voting rights;
    (10) Fraternal organizations or civic groups with a mission of 
community service whose members have voting rights;
    (11) Organizations having a mission based on preserving or 
furthering the culture of a particular national or ethnic origin; 
and
    (12) Organizations promoting social interaction or educational 
initiatives among persons sharing a common occupational profession.

III.A.1.c--Additional Information

    A support group whose members are continually changing or whose 
duration is temporary may not meet the single associational common 
bond criteria. Each class of member will be evaluated based on the 
totality of the circumstances. Individuals or honorary members who 
only make donations to the association are not eligible to join the 
credit union.
    Student groups (e.g., students enrolled at a public, private, or 
parochial school) may constitute either an associational or 
occupational common bond. For example, students enrolled at a church 
sponsored school could share a single associational common bond with 
the members of that church and may qualify for a federal credit 
union charter. Similarly, students enrolled at a university, as a 
group by itself, or in conjunction with the faculty and employees of 
the school, could share a single occupational common bond and may 
qualify for a federal credit union charter.
    Tenant groups, consumer groups, and other groups of persons 
having an ``interest in'' a particular cause and certain consumer 
cooperatives may also qualify as an association.
    Associations based primarily on a client-customer relationship 
do not meet associational common bond requirements. Health clubs are 
an example of a group not meeting associational common bond 
requirements, including YMCAs. However, having an incidental client-
customer relationship does not preclude an associational charter as 
long as the associational common bond requirements are met. For 
example, a fraternal association that offers insurance, which is not 
a condition of membership, may qualify as a valid associational 
common bond.

III.A.2--Subsequent Changes to Association's Bylaws

    If the association's membership or geographical definitions in 
its charter and bylaws are changed subsequent to the effective date 
stated in the field of membership, the credit union must submit the 
revised charter or bylaws for NCUA's consideration and approval 
prior to serving members of the association added as a result of the 
change.

III.A.3--Sample Single Associational Common Bonds

    Some examples of associational common bonds are:
     Regular members of Locals 10 and 13, IBEW, in Florida, 
who qualify for membership in accordance with their charter and 
bylaws in effect on May 20, 2001;
     Members of the Hoosier Farm Bureau in Grant, Logan, or 
Lee Counties of Indiana, who qualify for membership in accordance 
with its charter and bylaws in effect on March 7, 1997;
     Members of the Shalom Congregation in Chevy Chase, 
Maryland;
    
     Regular members of the Corporate Executives 
Association, located in Westchester, New York, who qualify for 
membership in accordance with its charter and bylaws in effect on 
December 1, 1997;
     Members of the University of Wisconsin Alumni 
Association, located in Green Bay, Wisconsin;
     Members of the Marine Corps Reserve Officers 
Association; or
     Members of St. John's Methodist Church and St. Luke's 
Methodist Church, located in Toledo, Ohio.
    Some examples of insufficiently defined single associational 
common bonds are:
     All Lutherans in the United States (too broadly 
defined); or
     Veterans of U.S. military service (group is too broadly 
defined; no formal association of all members of the group).
    Some examples of unacceptable single associational common bonds 
are:
     Alumni of Amos University (no formal association);
     Customers of Fleetwood Insurance Company (policyholders 
or primarily customer/client relationships do not meet associational 
standards);
     Employees of members of the Reston, Virginia, Chamber 
of Commerce (not a sufficiently close tie to the associational 
common bond); or
     Members of St. John's Lutheran Church and St. Mary's 
Catholic Church located in Anniston, Alabama (churches are not of 
the same denomination).

III.B--Associational Common Bond Amendments

III.B.1--General

    Section 5 of every associational federal credit union's charter 
defines the field of membership the credit union can legally serve. 
Only those persons who, or legal entities that, join the credit 
union and are specified in the field of membership can be served. 
There are three instances in which Section 5 must be amended by 
NCUA.
    First, a group that shares the credit union's common bond is 
added to the field of membership. This may occur through various 
ways including agreement between the group and the credit union 
directly, or through a merger, purchase and assumption (P&A), or 
spin-off.
    Second, a federal credit union qualifies to change its common 
bond from:
     A single associational common bond to a single 
occupational common bond;
     A single associational common bond to a community 
charter; or
     A single associational common bond to a multiple common 
bond.
    Third, a federal credit union removes a portion of the group 
from its field of membership through agreement with the group, a 
spin-off, or a portion of the group that is no longer in existence.
    An existing single associational federal credit union that 
submits a request to amend its charter must provide documentation to 
establish that the associational common bond requirement has been 
met. The Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director 
must approve all amendments to an associational common bond credit 
union's field of membership.

III.B.Organizational Restructuring

    If the single common bond group that comprises a federal credit 
union's field of membership undergoes a substantial restructuring, 
the result is often that portions of the group are sold or spun off. 
This is an event requiring a change to the credit union's field of 
membership. NCUA may not permit a single associational credit union 
to maintain in its field of membership a sold or spun-off group to 
which it has been providing service unless the group otherwise 
qualifies for membership in the credit union or the credit union 
converts to a multiple common bond credit union.
    If the group comprising the single common bond of the credit 
union merges with, or is acquired by, another group, the credit 
union can serve the new group resulting from the merger or 
acquisition after receiving a housekeeping amendment.

III.B.3--Economic Advisability

    Prior to granting a common bond expansion, NCUA will examine the 
amendment's likely impact on the credit union's operations and 
financial condition. In most cases, the information needed for 
analyzing the effect of adding a particular group will be available 
to NCUA through the examination and financial and statistical 
reports; however, in particular cases, the Office of Consumer 
Financial Protection and Access Director may require additional 
information prior to making a decision.

[[Page 88433]]

III.B.Documentation Requirements

    A federal credit union requesting a common bond expansion must 
submit an Application for Field of Membership Amendment (NCUA 4015-
EZ) to the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access 
Director. An authorized credit union representative must sign the 
request.

III.C--NCUA Procedures for Amending the Field of Membership

III.C.1--General

    All requests for approval to amend a federal credit union's 
charter must be submitted to the Office of Consumer Financial 
Protection and Access Director.

III.C.C.2--Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access 
Director Decision

    NCUA staff will review all amendment requests in order to ensure 
conformance to NCUA policy.
    Before acting on a proposed amendment, the Office of Consumer 
Financial Protection and Access Director may require an on-site 
review. In addition, the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and 
Access Director may, after taking into account the significance of 
the proposed field of membership amendment, require the applicant to 
submit a business plan addressing specific issues.
    The financial and operational condition of the requesting credit 
union will be considered in every instance. The economic 
advisability of expanding the field of membership of a credit union 
with financial or operational problems must be carefully considered.
    In most cases, field of membership amendments will only be 
approved for credit unions that are operating satisfactorily. 
Generally, if a federal credit union is having difficulty providing 
service to its current membership, or is experiencing financial or 
other operational problems, it may have more difficulty serving an 
expanded field of membership.
    Occasionally, however, an expanded field of membership may 
provide the basis for reversing current financial problems. In such 
cases, an amendment to expand the field of membership may be granted 
notwithstanding the credit union's financial or operational 
problems. The applicant credit union must clearly establish that the 
expanded field of membership is in the best interest of the members 
and will not increase the risk to the NCUSIF.

III.C.3--Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access 
Director Approval

    If the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access 
Director approves the requested amendment, the credit union will be 
issued an amendment to Section 5 of its charter.

III.C.4--Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access 
Director Disapproval

    When the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access 
Director disapproves any application, in whole or in part, to amend 
the field of membership under this chapter, the applicant will be 
informed in writing of the:
     Specific reasons for the action;
     Options to consider, if appropriate, for gaining 
approval; and
     Appeal procedures.

III.C.5--Appeal of Office of Consumer Financial Protection and 
Access Director Decision

    If a field of membership expansion request, merger, or spin-off 
is denied by staff, the federal credit union may appeal the decision 
to the NCUA Board. An appeal must be sent to the NCUA Board 
Secretary within 60 days of the date of denial and must be clearly 
identified as such and address the reason(s) the federal credit 
union disagrees with the denial. A copy of the appeal must be sent 
to the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access, or as 
applicable, the appropriate regional office or Office of National 
Examinations and Supervision Director. NCUA central office staff 
will make an independent review of the facts and present the appeal 
to the NCUA Board with a recommendation.
    Before appealing, the credit union may, within 30 days of the 
denial, provide supplemental information to the office rendering the 
initial decision for reconsideration. A reconsideration will contain 
new and material evidence addressing the reasons for the initial 
denial. The office rendering the initial decision will have 30 days 
from the date of the receipt of the request for reconsideration to 
make a final decision. If the request is again denied, the applicant 
may proceed with the appeal process within 60 days of the date of 
the last denial. A second request for reconsideration will be 
treated as an appeal to the NCUA Board.

III.D--Mergers, Purchase and Assumptions, and Spin-Offs

    In general, other than the addition of common bond groups, there 
are three additional ways a federal credit union with a single 
associational common bond can expand its field of membership:
     By taking in the field of membership of another credit 
union through a common bond or emergency merger;
     By taking in the field of membership of another credit 
union through a common bond or emergency purchase and assumption 
(P&A); or
     By taking a portion of another credit union's field of 
membership through a common bond spin-off.

III.D.1--Mergers

    Generally, the requirements applicable to field of membership 
expansions found in this section apply to mergers where the 
continuing credit union is a federal charter. That is, the two 
credit unions must share a common bond.
    Where the merging credit union is state-chartered, the common 
bond rules applicable to a federal credit union apply.
    Mergers must be approved by the NCUA regional director or Office 
of National Examinations and Supervision Director where the 
continuing credit union is headquartered, with the concurrence of 
the regional director or Office of National Examinations and 
Supervision Director of the merging credit union, and, as 
applicable, the state regulators.
    If a single associational credit union wants to merge into a 
multiple common bond or community credit union, Section IV.D or 
Section V.D of this Chapter, respectively, should be reviewed.

III.D.Emergency Mergers

    An emergency merger may be approved by NCUA without regard to 
common bond or other legal constraints. An emergency merger involves 
NCUA's direct intervention and approval. The credit union to be 
merged must either be insolvent or in danger of insolvency, as 
defined in the Glossary, and NCUA must determine that:
     An emergency requiring expeditious action exists;
     Other alternatives are not reasonably available; and
     The public interest would best be served by approving 
the merger.
    If not corrected, conditions that could lead to insolvency 
include, but are not limited to:
     Abandonment by management;
     Loss of sponsor;
     Serious and persistent record-keeping problems; or
     Serious and persistent operational concerns.
    In an emergency merger situation, NCUA will take an active role 
in finding a suitable merger partner (continuing credit union). NCUA 
is primarily concerned that the continuing credit union has the 
financial strength and management expertise to absorb the troubled 
credit union without adversely affecting its own financial condition 
and stability.
    As a stipulated condition to an emergency merger, the field of 
membership of the merging credit union may be transferred intact to 
the continuing federal credit union without regard to any common 
bond restrictions. Under this authority, therefore, a single 
associational common bond federal credit union may take into its 
field of membership any dissimilar charter type.
    The common bond characteristic of the continuing credit union in 
an emergency merger does not change. That is, even though the 
merging credit union is a multiple common bond or community, the 
continuing credit union will remain a single common bond credit 
union. Similarly, if the merging credit union is an unlike single 
common bond, the continuing credit union will remain a single common 
bond credit union. Future common bond expansions will be based on 
the continuing credit union's single common bond.
    Emergency mergers involving federally insured credit unions in 
different NCUA regions must be approved by the regional director or 
Office of National Examinations and Supervision Director where the 
continuing credit union is headquartered, with the concurrence of 
the regional director or Office of National Examinations and 
Supervision Director of the merging credit union and, as applicable, 
the state regulators.

III.D.Purchase and Assumption (P&A)

    Another alternative for acquiring the field of membership of a 
failing credit union is

[[Page 88434]]

through a consolidation known as a P&A. A P&A has limited 
application because, in most cases, the failing credit union must be 
placed into involuntary liquidation. In the few instances where a 
P&A may be appropriate, the assuming federal credit union, as with 
emergency mergers, may acquire the entire field of membership if the 
emergency merger criteria are satisfied. However, if the P&A does 
not meet the emergency merger criteria, it must be processed under 
the common bond requirements.
    In a P&A processed under the emergency criteria, specified 
loans, shares, and certain other designated assets and liabilities, 
without regard to common bond restrictions, may also be acquired 
without changing the character of the continuing federal credit 
union for purposes of future field of membership amendments.
    If the purchased and/or assumed credit union's field of 
membership does not share a common bond with the purchasing and/or 
assuming credit union, then the continuing credit union's original 
common bond will be controlling for future common bond expansions.
    P&As involving federally insured credit unions in different NCUA 
regions must be approved by the regional director or Office of 
National Examinations and Supervision Director where the continuing 
credit union is headquartered, with the concurrence of the regional 
director or Office of National Examinations and Supervision Director 
of the purchased and/or assumed credit union and, as applicable, the 
state regulators.

III.D.4--Spin-Offs

    A spin-off occurs when, by agreement of the parties, a portion 
of the field of membership, assets, liabilities, shares, and capital 
of a credit union are transferred to a new or existing credit union. 
A spin-off is unique in that usually one credit union has a field of 
membership expansion and the other loses a portion of its field of 
membership.
    All common bond requirements apply regardless of whether the 
spun-off group becomes a new credit union or goes to an existing 
federal charter.
    The request for approval of a spin-off must be supported with a 
plan that addresses, at a minimum:
     Why the spin-off is being requested;
     What part of the field of membership is to be spun off;
     Whether the affected credit unions have the same common 
bond (applies only to single associational credit unions);
     Which assets, liabilities, shares, and capital are to 
be transferred;
     The financial impact the spin-off will have on the 
affected credit unions;
     The ability of the acquiring credit union to 
effectively serve the new members;
     The proposed spin-off date; and
     Disclosure to the members of the requirements set forth 
above.
    The spin-off request must also include current financial 
statements from the affected credit unions and the proposed voting 
ballot.
    For federal credit unions spinning off a group, membership 
notice and voting requirements and procedures are the same as for 
mergers (see part 708 of the NCUA Rules and Regulations), except 
that only the members directly affected by the spin-off--those whose 
shares are to be transferred--are permitted to vote. Members whose 
shares are not being transferred will not be afforded the 
opportunity to vote. All members of the group to be spun off 
(whether they voted in favor, against, or not at all) will be 
transferred if the spin-off is approved by the voting membership. 
Voting requirements for federally insured state credit unions are 
governed by state law.
    Spin-offs involving federally insured credit unions in different 
NCUA regions must be approved by all regional directors and, if 
applicable, Office of National Examinations and Supervision Director 
where the credit unions are headquartered and the state regulators, 
as applicable. Spin-offs in the same region also require approval by 
the state regulator, as applicable. Spin-offs involving the creation 
of a new federally insured credit union require the approval of the 
Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director. The 
Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access also provides 
advice regarding field of membership compatibility when appropriate.

III.E--Overlaps

III.E.1--General

    An overlap exists when a group of persons is eligible for 
membership in two or more credit unions. NCUA will permit single 
associational federal credit unions to overlap any other charters 
without performing an overlap analysis.

III.E.Organizational Restructuring

    A federal credit union's field of membership will always be 
governed by the common bond descriptions contained in Section 5 of 
its charter. Where a sponsor organization expands its operations 
internally, by acquisition or otherwise, the credit union may serve 
these new entrants to its field of membership if they are part of 
the common bond described in Section 5. NCUA will permit a complete 
overlap of the credit unions' fields of membership. If a sponsor 
organization sells off a group, new members can no longer be served 
unless they otherwise qualify for membership in the credit union or 
it converts to a multiple common bond.
    Credit unions must submit documentation explaining the 
restructuring and providing information regarding the new 
organizational structure.

III.E.3--Exclusionary Clauses

    An exclusionary clause is a limitation precluding the credit 
union from serving the primary members of a portion of a group 
otherwise included in its field of membership. NCUA no longer grants 
exclusionary clauses. Those granted prior to the adoption of this 
new Chartering and Field of Membership Manual will remain in effect 
unless the credit unions agree to remove them or one of the affected 
credit unions submits a housekeeping amendment to have it removed.

III.F--Charter Conversions

    A single associational common bond federal credit union may 
apply to convert to a community charter provided the field of 
membership requirements of the community charter are met. Groups 
within the existing charter which cannot qualify in the new charter 
cannot be served except for members of record, or groups or 
communities obtained in an emergency merger or P&A. A credit union 
must notify all groups that will be removed from the field of 
membership as a result of conversion. Members of record can continue 
to be served. Also, in order to support a case for a conversion, the 
applicant federal credit union may be required to develop a detailed 
business plan as specified in Chapter 2, Section V.A.3.
    A single associational common bond federal credit union may 
apply to convert to a multiple common bond charter by adding a non-
common bond group that is within a reasonable proximity of a service 
facility. Groups within the existing charter may be retained and 
continue to be served. However, future amendments, including any 
expansions of the original single common bond group, must be done in 
accordance with multiple common bond policy.

III.G--Removal of Groups From the Field of Membership

    A credit union may request removal of a portion of the common 
bond group from its field of membership for various reasons. The 
most common reasons for this type of amendment are:
     The group is within the field of membership of two 
credit unions and one wishes to discontinue service;
     The federal credit union cannot continue to provide 
adequate service to the group;
     The group has ceased to exist;
     The group does not respond to repeated requests to 
contact the credit union or refuses to provide needed support; or
     The group initiates action to be removed from the field 
of membership.
    When a federal credit union requests an amendment to remove a 
group from its field of membership, the Office of Consumer Financial 
Protection and Access Director will determine why the credit union 
desires to remove the group. If the Office of Consumer Financial 
Protection and Access Director concurs with the request, membership 
will continue for those who are already members under the ``once a 
member, always a member'' provision of the Federal Credit Union Act.

III.H--Other Persons Eligible for Credit Union Membership

    A number of persons by virtue of their close relationship to a 
common bond group may be included, at the charter applicant's 
option, in the field of membership. These include the following:
     Spouses of persons who died while within the field of 
membership of this credit union;
     Employees of this credit union;
     Volunteers;
     Members of the immediate family or household;
    

[[Page 88435]]

     Honorably discharged veterans who served in any of the 
Armed Services of the United States in this charter;
    Organizations of such persons; and
     Corporate or other legal entities in this charter.
    Immediate family is defined as spouse, child, sibling, parent, 
grandparent, or grandchild. This includes stepparents, stepchildren, 
stepsiblings, and adoptive relationships.
    Household is defined as persons living in the same residence 
maintaining a single economic unit.
    Membership eligibility is extended only to individuals who are 
members of an ``immediate family or household'' of a credit union 
member. It is not necessary for the primary member to join the 
credit union in order for the immediate family or household member 
of the primary member to join, provided the immediate family or 
household clause is included in the field of membership. However, it 
is necessary for the immediate family member or household member to 
first join in order for that person's immediate family member or 
household member to join the credit union. A credit union can adopt 
a more restrictive definition of immediate family or household.
    Volunteers, by virtue of their close relationship with a sponsor 
group, may be included. One example is volunteers working at a 
church.
    Under the Federal Credit Union Act, once a person becomes a 
member of the credit union, such person may remain a member of the 
credit union until the person chooses to withdraw or is expelled 
from the membership of the credit union. This is commonly referred 
to as ``once a member, always a member.'' The ``once a member, 
always a member'' provision does not prevent a credit union from 
restricting services to members who are no longer within the field 
of membership.

IV--Multiple Occupational/Associational Common Bonds

IV.A.1--General

    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, a 
multiple common bond 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 or 
expand using single common bond criteria.
    Employment in a corporation or other legal entity which is 
related to another legal entity (such as a company under contract 
to, and possessing a strong dependency relationship with, the other 
company) makes that person part of the occupational common bond of a 
select employee group within a multiple common bond. In this 
context, a ``strong dependency relationship'' is a relationship in 
which the entities rely on each other as measured by a pattern of 
regularly doing business with each other, for example, as documented 
by the number, the term length, and the dollar volume of prior and 
pending contracts between them.
    A multiple common bond credit union's charter may also combine 
individual occupational groups that each consist of employees of a 
retailer or other business tenant of an industrial park, a shopping 
mall, office park or office building (each ``a park''). To be able 
to have this type of clause in its charter, the multiple common bond 
credit union first must receive a request from an authorized 
representative of the group or the park to establish credit union 
service. The park must be within the multiple common bond credit 
union's service area, and each occupational group must have fewer 
than 3,000 employees, who are eligible for membership only for so 
long as each is employed by a park tenant. Under this clause, a 
multiple common bond credit union can enroll group employees only 
while the group's retail or business employer is a park tenant, but 
such credit unions are free to serve employees of new groups under 
the above conditions as each respective employer becomes a park 
tenant.
    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 non-availability 
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 Web site.
    The select 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.

IV.A.2--Sample Multiple Common Bond Field of Membership

    An example of a multiple common bond field of membership is:
    ``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;
    4. Employees of tenants of MJB Office Park under the following 
conditions:

--Each tenant's employees form an individual occupational group;
--the tenant has fewer than 3,000 employees working at MJB Office 
Park; and
--those employees work in MJB Office Park's Wilmington, Delaware 
location,''

IV.B--Multiple Common Bond Amendments

IV.B.1--General

    Section 5 of every multiple common bond federal credit union's 
charter defines the field of membership and select groups the credit 
union can legally serve. Only those persons or legal entities 
specified in the field of membership can be served. There are a 
number of instances in which Section 5 must be amended by NCUA.
    First, a new select group is added to the field of membership. 
This may occur through agreement between the group and the credit 
union directly, or through a merger, corporate acquisition, purchase 
and assumption (P&A), or spin-off.
    Second, a federal credit union qualifies to change its charter 
from:
     A single occupational or associational charter to a 
multiple common bond charter;
     A multiple common bond to a single occupational or 
associational charter;
     A multiple common bond to a community charter; or
     A community to a multiple common bond charter.
    Third, a federal credit union removes a group from its field of 
membership through agreement with the group, a spin-off, or because 
the group no longer exists.

IV.B.2--Numerical Limitation of Select Groups

    An existing multiple common bond federal credit union that 
submits a request to amend its charter must provide documentation to 
establish that the multiple common bond requirements have been met. 
The Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director must 
approve all amendments to a multiple common bond credit union's 
field of membership.
    NCUA will approve groups to a credit union's field of membership 
if the agency determines in writing that the following criteria are 
met:
     The credit union has not engaged in any unsafe or 
unsound practice, as determined by the Office of Consumer Financial 
Protection and Access Director, with input from the appropriate 
regional director or Office of

[[Page 88436]]

National Examinations and Supervision Director, which is material 
during the one year period preceding the filing to add the group;
     The credit union is ``adequately capitalized'' pursuant 
to Part 702 of NCUA's Rules and Regulations. For low-income credit 
unions or credit unions chartered less than ten years, the Office of 
Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director, with input from 
the appropriate regional director or Office of National Examinations 
and Supervision Director, may determine that a less than 
``adequately capitalized'' credit union can qualify for an expansion 
if it is making reasonable progress toward becoming ``adequately 
capitalized.'' For any other credit union, the Office of Consumer 
Financial Protection and Access Director, with input from the 
appropriate regional director or Office of National Examinations and 
Supervision Director, may determine that a less than ``adequately 
capitalized'' credit union can qualify for an expansion if it is 
making reasonable progress toward becoming ``adequately 
capitalized,'' and the addition of the group would not adversely 
affect the credit union's capitalization level;
     The credit union has the administrative capability to 
serve the proposed group and the financial resources to meet the 
need for additional staff and assets to serve the new group;
     Any potential harm the expansion may have on any other 
credit union and its members is clearly outweighed by the probable 
beneficial effect of the expansion. With respect to a proposed 
expansion's effect on other credit unions, the requirements on 
overlapping fields of membership set forth in Section IV.E of this 
Chapter are also applicable; and
     If the formation of a separate credit union by such 
group is not practical and consistent with reasonable standards for 
the safe and sound operation of a credit union.
    The Federal Credit Union Act presumes that a group of 3,000 or 
more primary potential members is able to form its own stand-alone 
credit union unless NCUA determines that it is infeasible to do so 
for reasons such as:
    (i) The group lacks sufficient volunteer and other resources to 
support the efficient and effective operation of its own credit 
union;
    (ii) the group does not meet criteria that the Board has 
determined to be an important indicator of success in establishing 
and managing a new credit union, including demographic 
characteristics such as the geographic location of members, the 
diversity of ages and income levels among members, and other factors 
that may affect such a credit union's financial viability and 
stability; or
    (iii) the group would be unlikely to operate a safe and sound 
credit union.
    As such, NCUA requires additional information when a multiple 
common bond credit union applies to add a group of 3,000 or more 
primary potential members. For groups between 3,000 and 4,999 
potential members, NCUA requires documentation indicating the group 
has a lack of available subsidies, interest among the group's 
members, and sufficient resources. For such cases NCUA, in its 
discretion, will accept a written statement indicating these 
conditions exist as sufficient documentation the group cannot form 
its own credit union. Groups with 5,000 or more members will be 
subject to the standard document requirements as discussed later in 
this chapter, requiring a group to fully describe its inability to 
establish a new single common bond credit union.

IV.B.Documentation Requirements

    A multiple common bond credit union requesting a select group 
expansion must submit a formal written request, using the 
Application for Field of Membership Amendment (NCUA 4015-EZ, NCUA 
4015-A or NCUA 4015) to the Office of Consumer Financial Protection 
and Access Director. An authorized credit union representative must 
sign the request.
    The NCUA 4015-EZ (for groups less than 3,000 potential members) 
must be accompanied by the following:
     A letter, or equivalent documentation, from the group 
requesting credit union service. This letter must indicate:
     That the group wants to be added to the applicant 
federal credit union's field of membership;
     The number of persons currently included within the 
group to be added and their locations; and
     The group's proximity to the credit union's nearest 
service facility.
     The most recent copy of the group's charter and bylaws 
or equivalent documentation (for associational groups).
    The NCUA 4015-A (for groups between 3,000 and 4,999 primary 
potential members) must be accompanied by the following:
     A letter, or equivalent documentation, from the group 
requesting credit union service. This letter must indicate:
     That the group wants to be added to the federal credit 
union's field of membership;
     The number of persons currently included within the 
group to be added and their locations;
     The group's proximity to credit union's nearest service 
facility, and
     Why the formation of a separate credit union for the 
group is not practical or consistent with safety and soundness 
standards because of a lack of available subsidies, interest among 
the group's members, and sufficient resources.
    The NCUA 4015 (for groups of 5,000 or more primary potential 
members) must be accompanied by the following:
     A letter, or equivalent documentation, from the group 
requesting credit union service. This letter must indicate:
     That the group wants to be added to the federal credit 
union's field of membership;
     Whether the group presently has other credit union 
service available;
     The number of persons currently included within the 
group to be added and their locations;
     The group's proximity to credit union's nearest service 
facility, and
     Why the formation of a separate credit union for the 
group is not practical or consistent with safety and soundness 
standards. A credit union need not address every item on the list, 
simply those issues that are relevant to its particular request:
    Member location--whether the membership is widely dispersed or 
concentrated in a central location.
    Demographics--the employee turnover rate, economic status of the 
group's members, and whether the group is more apt to consist of 
savers and/or borrowers.
    Market competition--the availability of other financial 
services.
    Desired services and products--the type of services the group 
desires in comparison to the type of services a new credit union 
could offer.
    Sponsor subsidies--the availability of operating subsidies.
    The desire of the sponsor--the extent of the sponsor's interest 
in supporting a credit union charter.
    Employee interest--the extent of the employees' interest in 
obtaining a credit union charter.
    Evidence of past failure--whether the group previously had its 
own credit union or previously filed for a credit union charter.
    Administrative capacity to provide services--will the group have 
the management expertise to provide the services requested.
     If the group is eligible for membership in any other 
credit union, documentation must be provided to support inclusion of 
the group under the overlap standards set forth in Section IV.E of 
this Chapter; and
     The most recent copy of the group's charter and bylaws 
or equivalent documentation (for associational groups).

IV.B.Restructuring

    If a select group within a federal credit union's field of 
membership undergoes a substantial restructuring, a change to the 
credit union's field of membership may be required if the credit 
union is to continue to provide service to the select group. NCUA 
permits a multiple common bond credit union to maintain in its field 
of membership a sold, spun-off, or merged select group to which it 
has been providing service. This type of amendment to the credit 
union's charter is not considered an expansion; therefore, the 
criteria relating to adding new groups are not applicable.
    When two groups merge and each is in the field of membership of 
a credit union, then both (or all affected) credit unions can serve 
the resulting merged group, subject to any existing geographic 
limitation and without regard to any overlap provisions. However, 
the credit unions cannot serve the other multiple groups that may be 
in the field of membership of the other credit union.

IV.C--NCUA's Procedures for Amending the Field of Membership

IV.C.1--General

    All requests for approval to amend a federal credit union's 
charter must be submitted to the Office of Consumer Financial 
Protection and Access Director.

IV.C.2--Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director 
Decision

    NCUA staff will review all amendment requests in order to ensure 
conformance to NCUA policy.
    Before acting on a proposed amendment, the Office of Consumer 
Financial Protection

[[Page 88437]]

and Access Director may require an on-site review. In addition, the 
Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director may, 
after taking into account the significance of the proposed field of 
membership amendment, require the applicant to submit a business 
plan addressing specific issues.
    The financial and operational condition of the requesting credit 
union will be considered in every instance. An expanded field of 
membership may provide the basis for reversing adverse trends. In 
such cases, an amendment to expand the field of membership may be 
granted notwithstanding the credit union's adverse trends. The 
applicant credit union must clearly establish that the approval of 
the expanded field of membership meets the requirements of Section 
IV.B.2 of this Chapter and will not increase the risk to the NCUSIF.

IV.C.3--Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director 
Approval

    If the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access 
Director approves the requested amendment, the credit union will be 
issued an amendment to Section 5 of its charter.

IV.C.4--Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director 
Disapproval

    When the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access 
Director disapproves any application, in whole or in part, to amend 
the field of membership under this chapter, the applicant will be 
informed in writing of the:
     Specific reasons for the action;
    
     Options to consider, if appropriate, for gaining 
approval; and
     Appeal procedure.

IV.C.5--Appeal of Office of Consumer Financial Protection and 
Access Director Decision

    If a field of membership expansion request, merger, or spin-off 
is denied by staff, the federal credit union may appeal the decision 
to the NCUA Board. An appeal must be sent to the NCUA Board 
Secretary within 60 days of the date of denial and must be clearly 
identified as such and address the reason(s) the federal credit 
union disagrees with the denial. A copy of the appeal must be sent 
to the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access or, as 
applicable, the appropriate regional office or Office of National 
Examinations and Supervision Director. NCUA central office staff 
will make an independent review of the facts and present the appeal 
to the NCUA Board with a recommendation.
    Before appealing, the credit union may, within 30 days of the 
denial, provide supplemental information to the office rendering the 
initial decision for reconsideration. A reconsideration will contain 
new and material evidence addressing the reasons for the initial 
denial. The office rendering the initial decision will have 30 days 
from the date of the receipt of the request for reconsideration to 
make a final decision. If the request is again denied, the applicant 
may proceed with the appeal process within 60 days of the date of 
the last denial. A second request for reconsideration will be 
treated as an appeal to the NCUA Board.

IV.D--Mergers, Purchase and Assumptions, and Spin-Offs

    In general, other than the addition of select groups, there are 
three additional ways a multiple common bond federal credit union 
can expand its field of membership:
     By taking in the field of membership of another credit 
union through a merger;
     By taking in the field of membership of another credit 
union through a purchase and assumption (P&A); or
     By taking a portion of another credit union's field of 
membership through a spin-off.

IV.D. Voluntary Mergers

a. All Select Groups in the Merging Credit Union's Field of Membership 
Have Less Than 3,000 Primary Potential Members

    A voluntary merger of two or more federal credit unions is 
permissible as long as each select group in the merging credit 
union's field of membership has less than 3,000 primary potential 
members. While the merger requirements outlined in Section 205 of 
the Federal Credit Union Act must still be met, the requirements of 
Chapter 2, Section IV.B.2 of this manual are not applicable.

b. One or More Select Groups in the Merging Credit Union's Field of 
Membership Has 3,000 or More Primary Potential Members

    If the merging credit unions serve the same group, and the group 
consists of 3,000 or more primary potential members, then the 
ability to form a separate credit union analysis is not required for 
that group. If the merging credit union has any other groups 
consisting of 3,000 or more primary potential members, special 
requirements apply. NCUA will analyze each group of 3,000 or more 
primary potential members, except as noted above, to determine 
whether the formation of a separate credit union by such a group is 
practical. If the formation of a separate credit union by such a 
group is not practical because the group lacks sufficient volunteer 
and other resources to support the efficient and effective 
operations of a credit union or does not meet the economic advisable 
criteria outlined in Chapter 1, the group may be merged into a 
multiple common bond credit union. If the formation of a separate 
credit union is practical, the group must be spun-off before the 
merger can be approved.

c. Merger of a Single Common Bond Credit Union Into a Multiple Common 
Bond Credit Union

    A financially healthy single common bond credit union with a 
primary potential membership of 3,000 or more cannot merge into a 
multiple common bond credit union, absent supervisory reasons, 
unless the continuing credit union already serves the same group.

d. Merger Approval

    If the merger is approved, the qualifying groups within the 
merging credit union's field of membership will be transferred 
intact to the continuing credit union and can continue to be served.
    Where the merging credit union is state-chartered, the field of 
membership rules applicable to a federal credit union apply.
    Mergers must be approved by the applicable NCUA regional or 
Office of National Examinations and Supervision Director where the 
continuing credit union is headquartered, with the concurrence of 
the regional director or Office of National Examinations and 
Supervision Director of the merging credit union, and, as 
applicable, the state regulators.

IV.D.2--Supervisory Mergers

    The NCUA may approve the merger of any federally insured credit 
union when safety and soundness concerns are present without regard 
to the 3,000 numerical limitation. The credit union need not be 
insolvent or in danger of insolvency for NCUA to use this statutory 
authority. Examples constituting appropriate reasons for using this 
authority are: abandonment of the management and/or officials and an 
inability to find replacements, loss of sponsor support, serious and 
persistent record-keeping problems, sustained material decline in 
financial condition, or other serious or persistent circumstances.

IV.D. Emergency Mergers

    An emergency merger may be approved by NCUA without regard to 
common bond or other legal constraints. An emergency merger involves 
NCUA's direct intervention and approval. The credit union to be 
merged must either be insolvent or in danger of insolvency, as 
defined in the Glossary, and NCUA must determine that:
     An emergency requiring expeditious action exists;
     Other alternatives are not reasonably available; and
     The public interest would best be served by approving 
the merger.
    If not corrected, conditions that could lead to insolvency 
include, but are not limited to:
     Abandonment by management;
     Loss of sponsor;
     Serious and persistent record-keeping problems; or
     Serious and persistent operational concerns.
    In an emergency merger situation, NCUA will take an active role 
in finding a suitable merger partner (continuing credit union). NCUA 
is primarily concerned that the continuing credit union has the 
financial strength and management expertise to absorb the troubled 
credit union without adversely affecting its own financial condition 
and stability.
    As a stipulated condition to an emergency merger, the field of 
membership of the merging credit union may be transferred intact to 
the continuing federal credit union without regard to any field of 
membership restrictions including numerical limitation requirements. 
Under this authority, any single occupational or associational 
common bond, multiple common bond, or community charter may merger 
into a multiple common bond credit union and that credit union can 
continue to serve the merging credit union's field of membership. 
Subsequent field of membership expansions of the continuing

[[Page 88438]]

multiple common bond credit union must be consistent with multiple 
common bond policies.
    Emergency mergers involving federally insured credit unions in 
different NCUA regions must be approved by the regional director or 
Office of National Examinations and Supervision Director where the 
continuing credit union is headquartered, with the concurrence of 
the regional director or Office of National Examinations and 
Supervision Director of the merging credit union and, as applicable, 
the state regulators.

IV.D. Purchase and Assumption (P&A)

    Another alternative for acquiring the field of membership of a 
failing credit union is through a consolidation known as a P&A. 
Generally, the requirements applicable to field of membership 
expansions found in this chapter apply to purchase and assumptions 
where the purchasing credit union is a federal charter.
    A P&A has limited application because, in most cases, the 
failing credit union must be placed into involuntary liquidation. 
However, in the few instances where a P&A may occur, the assuming 
federal credit union, as with emergency mergers, may acquire the 
entire field of membership if the emergency criteria are satisfied. 
Specified loans, shares, and certain other designated assets and 
liabilities, without regard to field of membership restrictions, may 
also be acquired without changing the character of the continuing 
federal credit union for purposes of future field of membership 
amendments. Subsequent field of membership expansions must be 
consistent with multiple common bond policies.
    P&As involving federally insured credit unions in different NCUA 
regions must be approved by the regional director or Office of 
National Examinations and Supervision Director where the continuing 
credit union is headquartered, with the concurrence of the regional 
director or Office of National Examinations and Supervision Director 
of the purchased and/or assumed credit union and, as applicable, the 
state regulators.

IV.D.5--Spin-Offs

    A spin-off occurs when, by agreement of the parties, a portion 
of the field of membership, assets, liabilities, shares, and capital 
of a credit union are transferred to a new or existing credit union. 
A spin-off is unique in that usually one credit union has a field of 
membership expansion and the other loses a portion of its field of 
membership.
    All common bond requirements apply regardless of whether the 
spun-off group becomes a new charter or goes to an existing federal 
charter.
    The request for approval of a spun-off group must be supported 
with a plan that addresses, at a minimum:
     Why the spin-off is being requested;
     What part of the field of membership is to be spun off;
     Which assets, liabilities, shares, and capital are to 
be transferred;
     The financial impact the spin-off will have on the 
affected credit unions;
     The ability of the acquiring credit union to 
effectively serve the new members;
     The proposed spin-off date; and
     Disclosure to the members of the requirements set forth 
above.
    The spin-off request must also include current financial 
statements from the affected credit unions and the proposed voting 
ballot.
    For federal credit unions spinning off a group, membership 
notice and voting requirements and procedures are the same as for 
mergers (see part 708 of the NCUA Rules and Regulations), except 
that only the members directly affected by the spin-off--those whose 
shares are to be transferred--are permitted to vote. Members whose 
shares are not being transferred will not be afforded the 
opportunity to vote. All members of the group to be spun off 
(whether they voted in favor, against, or not at all) will be 
transferred if the spin-off is approved by the voting membership. 
Voting requirements for federally insured state credit unions are 
governed by state law.
    Spin-offs involving federally insured credit unions in different 
NCUA regions must be approved by all regional directors and, if 
applicable, the Office of National Examinations and Supervision 
Director where the credit unions are headquartered and the state 
regulators, as applicable. Spin-offs in the same region also require 
approval by the state regulator, as applicable.

IV.E--Overlaps

IV.E.1--General

    An overlap exists when a group of persons is eligible for 
membership in two or more credit unions, including state charters. 
An overlap is permitted when the expansion's beneficial effect in 
meeting the convenience and needs of the members of the group 
proposed to be included in the field of membership outweighs any 
adverse effect on the overlapped credit union.
    Credit unions must investigate the possibility of an overlap 
with federally insured credit unions prior to submitting an 
expansion request if the group has 5,000 or more primary potential 
members. If cases arise where the assurance given to the Office of 
Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director concerning the 
unavailability of credit union service is inaccurate, the 
misinformation may be grounds for removal of the group from the 
federal credit union's charter.
    When an overlap situation requiring analysis does arise, 
officials of the expanding credit union must ascertain the views of 
the overlapped credit union. If the overlapped credit union does not 
object, the applicant must submit a letter or other documentation to 
that effect. If the overlapped credit union does not respond, the 
expanding credit union must notify NCUA in writing of its attempt to 
obtain the overlapped credit union's comments.
    NCUA will approve an overlap if the expansion's beneficial 
effect in meeting the convenience and needs of the members of the 
group outweighs any adverse effect on the overlapped credit union.
    In reviewing the overlap, the Office of Consumer Financial 
Protection and Access Director will consider:
     The view of the overlapped credit union(s);
     Whether the overlap is incidental in nature--the group 
of persons in question is so small as to have no material effect on 
the original credit union;
     Whether there is limited participation by members or 
employees of the group in the original credit union after the 
expiration of a reasonable period of time;
     Whether the original credit union fails to provide 
requested service;
     Financial effect on the overlapped credit union;
     The desires of the group(s);
     The desire of the sponsor organization; and
     The best interests of the affected group and the credit 
union members involved.
    Generally, if the overlapped credit union does not object, and 
NCUA determines that there is no safety and soundness problem, the 
overlap will be permitted.
    Potential overlaps of a federally insured state credit union's 
field of membership by a federal credit union will generally be 
analyzed in the same way as if two federal credit unions were 
involved. Where a federally insured state credit union's field of 
membership is broadly stated, NCUA will exclude its field of 
membership from any overlap protection.
    NCUA will permit multiple common bond federal credit unions to 
overlap community charters without performing an overlap analysis.

IV.E. Overlap Issues as a Result of Organizational Restructuring

    A federal credit union's field of membership will always be 
governed by the field of membership descriptions contained in 
Section 5 of its charter. Where a sponsor organization expands its 
operations internally, by acquisition or otherwise, the credit union 
may serve these new entrants to its field of membership if they are 
part of any select group listed in Section 5. Where acquisitions are 
made which add a new subsidiary, the group cannot be served until 
the subsidiary is included in the field of membership through a 
housekeeping amendment.
    A federal credit union's field of membership will always be 
governed by the field of membership descriptions contained in 
Section 5 of its charter. Where a sponsor organization expands its 
operations internally, by acquisition or otherwise, the credit union 
may serve these new entrants to its field of membership if they are 
part of any select group listed in Section 5. Where acquisitions are 
made which add a new subsidiary, the group cannot be served until 
the subsidiary is included in the field of membership through a 
housekeeping amendment.
    Overlaps may occur as a result of restructuring or merger of the 
parent organization. When such overlaps occur, each credit union 
must request a field of membership amendment to reflect the new 
groups each wishes to serve. The credit union can continue to serve 
any current group in its field of membership that is acquiring a new 
group or has been acquired by a new group.

[[Page 88439]]

    The new group cannot be served by the credit union until the 
field of membership amendment is approved by NCUA.
    Credit unions affected by organizational restructuring or merger 
should attempt to resolve overlap issues among themselves. Unless an 
agreement is reached limiting the overlap resulting from the 
corporate restructuring, NCUA will permit a complete overlap of the 
credit unions' fields of membership. When two groups merge, or one 
group is acquired by the other, and each is in the field of 
membership of a credit union, both (or all affected) credit unions 
can serve the resulting merged or acquired group, subject to any 
existing geographic limitation and without regard to any overlap 
provisions. This is accomplished through a housekeeping amendment.
    Credit unions must submit to NCUA documentation explaining the 
restructuring and provide information regarding the new 
organizational structure.

IV.E.3--Exclusionary Clauses

    An exclusionary clause is a limitation precluding the credit 
union from serving the primary members of a portion of a group 
otherwise included in its field of membership. NCUA no longer grants 
exclusionary clauses. Those granted prior to the adoption of this 
new Chartering and Field of Membership Manual will remain in effect 
unless the credit unions agree to remove them or one of the affected 
credit unions submits a housekeeping amendment to have it removed.

IV.F--Charter Conversion

    A multiple common bond federal credit union may apply to convert 
to a community charter provided the field of membership requirements 
of the community charter are met. Groups within the existing charter 
which cannot qualify in the new charter cannot be served except for 
members of record, or groups or communities obtained in an emergency 
merger or P&A. A credit union must notify all groups that will be 
removed from the field of membership as a result of conversion. 
Members of record can continue to be served. Also, in order to 
support a case for a conversion, the applicant federal credit union 
may be required to develop a detailed business plan as specified in 
Chapter 2, Section V.A.3.
    A multiple common bond federal credit union may apply to convert 
to a single occupational or associational common bond charter 
provided the field of membership requirements of the new charter are 
met. Groups within the existing charter, which do not qualify in the 
new charter, cannot be served except for members of record, or 
groups or communities obtained in an emergency merger or P&A. A 
credit union must notify all groups that will be removed from the 
field of membership as a result of conversion.

IV.G--Credit Union Requested Removal of Groups From the Field of 
Membership

    A credit union may request removal of a group from its field of 
membership for various reasons. The most common reasons for this 
type of amendment are:
     The group is within the field of membership of two 
credit unions and one wishes to discontinue service;
     The federal credit union cannot continue to provide 
adequate service to the group;
     The group has ceased to exist;
     The group does not respond to repeated requests to 
contact the credit union or refuses to provide needed support;
     The group initiates action to be removed from the field 
of membership; or
     The federal credit union wishes to convert to a single 
common bond.
    When a federal credit union requests an amendment to remove a 
group from its field of membership, the Office of Consumer Financial 
Protection and Access Director will determine why the credit union 
desires to remove the group. If the Office of Consumer Financial 
Protection and Access Director concurs with the request, membership 
will continue for those who are already members under the ``once a 
member, always a member'' provision of the Federal Credit Union Act.

IV.H--NCUA Supervisory Action To Remove Groups From the Field of 
Membership

    NCUA has in place quality control processes that protect the 
integrity of its field of membership requirements. As part of this 
obligation, NCUA's Office of Consumer Financial Protection and 
Access will randomly select groups added through NCUA's Field of 
Membership Internet Application (FOMIA) system for quality assurance 
reviews even if the expansion application meets all the conditions 
for approval. Each FCU is responsible for obtaining certain 
documentation when seeking to add groups to its field of membership 
through FOMIA. In addition, as indicated in the FOMIA User 
Instruction Guide, available on NCUA's Web site, an FCU must 
permanently retain the documentation from the select group 
requesting service and the Confirmation Certificate generated at the 
time the FOMIA request is submitted to NCUA.
    As part of the quality assurance process, the Office of Consumer 
Financial Protection and Access reserves the right to request this 
documentation at any time. If the FCU fails to provide this 
documentation when the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and 
Access requests it, the director of the Office of Consumer Financial 
Protection and Access may consider removing the group from the FCU's 
field of membership and restricting the FCU from using the FOMIA 
system for future requests. Specifically, as part of the FOMIA 
quality assurance process, the Office of Consumer Financial 
Protection and Access staff will do the following:
    1. Within 10 days of receiving an application selected for a 
quality assurance review, notify the FCU of the documentation the 
Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access requires. The FCU 
will have 15 days to provide the necessary documentation. the Office 
of Consumer Financial Protection and Access will respond to the FCU 
with a determination on the quality assurance review of the 
association within 15 days of receiving the requested information;
    2. After receiving the additional documentation, if any concerns 
remain outstanding, the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and 
Access will again correspond with the FCU and provide a 15-day time 
frame for correcting the concern. the Office of Consumer Financial 
Protection and Access will respond to the FCU with a determination 
on the quality assurance review of the association within 15 days of 
receiving the requested information; and
    3. If the FCU does not provide the requested documentation, or 
cannot correct the concern, the Office of Consumer Financial 
Protection and Access Director will deny the application and notify 
the credit union of its appeal rights.

IV.I--NCUA Investigation of Potential Field of Membership Violations

    NCUA's Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access is 
responsible for investigating field of membership complaints from 
the public, and matters referred to it from the field. It also 
pursues corrective action as needed for FCUs with confirmed field of 
membership violations. Although circumstances can vary with each 
case, the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access will 
generally adhere to the following process for investigating and 
addressing potential field of membership violations:
    1. Initially correspond with management to outline concerns and 
request clarifying information within 60 days. the Office of 
Consumer Financial Protection and Access will also provide context 
as to the source of NCUA's concerns, such as the discovery of new 
information about a particular group or an examination finding 
brought to the attention of the Office of Consumer Financial 
Protection and Access;
    2. If the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access 
does not receive the requested information within 60 days, it will 
notify the FCU and again request the required information be 
provided within 30 days;
    3. After receiving the additional documentation, if any concerns 
remain outstanding, the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and 
Access will again correspond with the FCU to provide a 60-day time 
frame for addressing the concern; and
    4. If the FCU is unable to correct the concern, and after 
consultation with the Office of General Counsel and the appropriate 
Regional Office or Office of National Examinations and Supervision 
Director, and in accordance with agency guidelines for 
administrative actions, the Director of the Office of Consumer 
Financial Protection and Access will remove the group from the FCU's 
field of membership pursuant to authority delegated by the NCUA 
Board. Removal of a group is treated the same as an initial denial 
under the Chartering Manual. In any adverse final determination on 
removal under the above delegations, the Office of Consumer 
Financial Protection and Access will notify the FCU of its appeal 
rights.
    NCUA considers the removal of an association from an FCU's field 
of membership as an action of last resort. If a group is removed, 
the FCU can no longer add new members from the group, but can

[[Page 88440]]

continue serving those who are already members of the FCU under the 
``once a member, always a member'' provision of the Federal Credit 
Union Act. Also, if the group subsequently qualifies due to changes 
to the group itself, management can submit a new application at that 
time.

IV.J--Other Persons Eligible for Credit Union Membership

    A number of persons, by virtue of their close relationship to a 
common bond group, may be included, at the charter applicant's 
option, in the field of membership. These include the following:
     Spouses of persons who died while within the field of 
membership of this credit union;
     Employees of this credit union;
     Persons retired as pensioners or annuitants from the 
above employment;
     Volunteers;
     Members of the immediate family or household;
     Honorably discharged veterans who served in any of the 
Armed Services of the United States in this charter;
     Organizations of such persons; and
     Corporate or other legal entities in this charter.
    Immediate family is defined as spouse, child, sibling, parent, 
grandparent, or grandchild. This includes stepparents, stepchildren, 
stepsiblings, and adoptive relationships.
    Household is defined as persons living in the same residence 
maintaining a single economic unit.
    Membership eligibility is extended only to individuals who are 
members of an ``immediate family or household'' of a credit union 
member. It is not necessary for the primary member to join the 
credit union in order for the immediate family or household member 
of the primary member to join, provided the immediate family or 
household clause is included in the field of membership. However, it 
is necessary for the immediate family member or household member to 
first join in order for that person's immediate family member or 
household member to join the credit union. A credit union can adopt 
a more restrictive definition of immediate family or household.
    Volunteers, by virtue of their close relationship with a sponsor 
group, may be included. Examples include volunteers working at a 
hospital or church.
    Under the Federal Credit Union Act, once a person becomes a 
member of the credit union, such person may remain a member of the 
credit union until the person chooses to withdraw or is expelled 
from the membership of the credit union. This is commonly referred 
to as ``once a member, always a member.'' The ``once a member, 
always a member'' provision does not prevent a credit union from 
restricting services to members who are no longer within the field 
of membership

V--Community Charter Requirements

V.A.1--General

    There are two types of community charters. One is based on a 
single, geographically well- defined local community or 
neighborhood; the other is a rural district. More than one credit 
union may serve the same community.
    NCUA recognizes four types of affinity on which both a community 
charter and a rural district can be based--persons who live in, 
worship in, attend school in, or work in the community or rural 
district. Businesses and other legal entities within the community 
boundaries or rural district may also qualify for membership.
    NCUA has established the following requirements for community 
charters:
     The geographic area's boundaries must be clearly 
defined; and
     The area is a well-defined local community or a rural 
district.

V.A.2--Definition of Well-Defined Local Community and Rural 
District

    In addition to the documentation requirements in Chapter 1 to 
charter a credit union, a community credit union applicant must 
provide additional documentation addressing the proposed area to be 
served and community service policies.
    An applicant has the burden of demonstrating to NCUA that the 
proposed community area meets the statutory requirements of being: 
(1) Well-defined, and (2) a local community or rural district.
    ``Well-defined'' means the proposed area has specific geographic 
boundaries. Geographic boundaries may include a city, township, 
county (single, multiple, or portions of a county) or a political 
equivalent, school district, or a clearly identifiable neighborhood. 
Although state boundaries are well-defined areas, states themselves 
do not meet the requirement that the proposed area be a local 
community.
    The well-defined local community requirement is met if:
     Single Political Jurisdiction--The area to be served is 
in a recognized Single Political Jurisdiction, i.e., a city, county, 
or their political equivalent, or any individual portion thereof.
     Statistical Area--The area is a designated Core Based 
Statistical Area or allowing a portion thereof, or in the case of a 
Core Based Statistical Area with Metropolitan Divisions, the area is 
a Metropolitan Division or is a portion thereof; or
     The area is a designated a Combined Statistical Area or 
a portion thereof; AND
     The Core Based Statistical Area, Metropolitan Division 
or Combined Statistical Area, or the portion thereof, must have a 
population of 2.5 million or less people.
     Compelling Evidence of Interaction or Common 
Interests--In lieu of a statistical area as defined above, this 
option applies only to the addition of an immediately adjacent area 
falling outside a Single Political Jurisdiction, Core Based 
Statistical Area or Combined Statistical Area, and thus may 
demonstrate a sufficient level of interaction to qualify as a local 
community. For these situations, applicants have the option of 
submitting a narrative to NCUA to address how the residents meet the 
requirements for being a local community. The Office of Consumer 
Financial Protection and Access will issue additional guidance to 
help a credit union develop its written narrative. NCUA will base 
its decision on a consideration of the following factors with 
respect to the proposed service area in its entirety:
    Economic Hub: Evidence indicates residents commonly travel to a 
geographically compact locale within the area for work and major 
commerce needs. Traffic flows, the presence of common or related 
industries, or unified economic planning demonstrate how the locales 
have economic interdependence.
    Population Center: Area has a dominant county or municipality 
with a significant portion of the area's population and evidence 
exists to support the relevance of the population center to all 
residents within the area.
    Isolated Areas: Areas geographically isolated, such as by 
mountains, bodies of water, or other prominent features.
    Quasi-Governmental Agencies: A quasi-governmental agency, such 
as a regional planning commission, predominantly covers the proposed 
service area and derives its leadership from the area to advance 
meaningful objectives advancing the residents' common interests in 
economic development and/or improving quality of life. Success of 
agency in meeting its mission depends upon collaboration from 
throughout the area.
    Government Designations: A division of a federal or state agency 
specifically designates the proposed service area as its area of 
coverage or as a target area for specific programs.
    Shared Public Services/Facilities: Formal agreements exist that 
provide for a common need shared by all of the residents, such as 
common police or fire protection, or public utilities.
    Colleges and Universities: Evidence exists to demonstrate the 
common relevance of an institution or institutions to the entire 
area, such as unique educational initiatives to support economic 
objectives benefiting all residents and/or partnerships with local 
businesses or high schools.
    An area of any geographic size qualifies as a Rural District if:
     The proposed district has well-defined, contiguous 
geographic boundaries;
     The total population of the proposed district does not 
exceed 1,000,000.
     Either more than 50% of the proposed district's 
population resides in census blocks or other geographic units that 
are designated as rural by either the Consumer Financial Protection 
Bureau or the United States Census Bureau, OR the district has a 
population density of 100 persons or fewer per square mile; and
     The boundaries of the well-defined rural district do 
not exceed the outer boundaries of the states that are immediately 
contiguous to the state in which the credit union maintains its 
headquarters (i.e., not to exceed the outer perimeter of the layer 
of states immediately surrounding the headquarters state).
    The affinity groups that apply to well-defined local 
communities, found in Chapter 2, Section V.G., also apply to Rural 
Districts.
    The OMB definitions of Core Based Statistical Area and 
Metropolitan Division, as

[[Page 88441]]

well as that of Combined Statistical Area (found at https://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/bulletins_default) are incorporated herein by 
reference. Access to these definitions is also available through 
NCUA's Web site at http://www.ncua.gov.
    The requirements in Chapter 2, Sections V.A.4 through V.G. also 
apply to a credit union that serves a rural district.

V.A.3--Previously Approved Communities

    If NCUA has determined that a specific geographic area is a 
well-defined local community, then a new applicant need not 
reestablish that fact as part of its application to serve the exact 
area. The new applicant must, however, note NCUA's previous 
determination as part of its overall application. An applicant 
applying for an area that is not exactly the same as a previously 
approved well defined local community must comply with the current 
criteria in place for determining a well-defined local community.

V.A. Business Plan Requirements for a Community Credit Union

    A community credit union is frequently more susceptible to 
competition from other local financial institutions and generally 
does not have substantial support from any single sponsoring company 
or association. As a result, a community credit union will often 
encounter financial and operational factors that differ from an 
occupational or associational charter. Its diverse membership may 
require special marketing programs targeted to different segments of 
the community. For example, the lack of payroll deduction creates 
special challenges in the development and promotion of savings 
programs and in the collection of loans. Accordingly, to support an 
application for a community charter, an applicant Federal credit 
union must develop a business plan incorporating the following data:
     Pro forma financial statements for a minimum of 24 
months after the proposed conversion, including the underlying 
assumptions and rationale for projected member, share, loan, and 
asset growth;
     Anticipated financial impact on the credit union, 
including the need for additional employees and fixed assets, and 
the associated costs;
     A description of the current and proposed office/branch 
structure, including a general description of the location(s); 
parking availability, public transportation availability, drive-
through service, lobby capacity, or any other service feature 
illustrating community access;
     A marketing plan addressing how the community will be 
served for the 24-month period after the proposed conversion to a 
community charter, including detailing: How the credit union will 
implement its business plan; the unique needs of the various 
demographic groups in the proposed community; how the credit union 
will market to each group, particularly underserved groups; which 
community-based organizations the credit union will target in its 
outreach efforts; the credit union's marketing budget projections 
dedicating greater resources to reaching new members; and the credit 
union's timetable for implementation, not just a calendar of events;
     Details, terms and conditions of the credit union's 
financial products, programs, and services to be provided to the 
entire community; and
     Maps showing the current and proposed service 
facilities, ATMs, political boundaries, major roads, and other 
pertinent information.
    An existing Federal credit union may apply to convert to a 
community charter. Groups currently in the credit union's field of 
membership, but outside the new community credit union's boundaries, 
may not be included in the new community charter. Therefore, the 
credit union must notify groups that will be removed from the field 
of membership as a result of the conversion. Members of record can 
continue to be served.
    Before approval of an application to convert to a community 
credit union, NCUA must be satisfied that the credit union will be 
viable and capable of providing services to its members.
    Community credit unions will be expected to regularly review and 
to follow, to the fullest extent economically possible, the 
marketing and business plans submitted with their applications. 
Additionally, NCUA will follow-up with an FCU every year for three 
years after the FCU has been granted a new or expanded community 
charter, and at any other intervals NCUA believes appropriate, to 
determine if the FCU is satisfying the terms of its marketing and 
business plans.
    An FCU failing to satisfy those terms will be subject to 
supervisory action. As part of this review process, the regional 
office or Office of National Examinations and Supervision Director 
will report to the NCUA Board instances where an FCU is failing to 
satisfy the terms of its marketing and business plan and indicate 
what supervisory actions the region or ONES intends to take.

V.A.5--Community Boundaries

    The geographic boundaries of a community Federal credit union 
are the areas defined in its charter. The boundaries can usually be 
defined using political borders, streets, rivers, railroad tracks, 
or other static geographical feature.
    A community that is a recognized legal entity may be stated in 
the field of membership-- for example, ``Gus Township, Texas,'' 
``Isabella City, Georgia,'' or ``Fairfax County, Virginia.''
    A community that is an entire United States Census Bureau 
designated Core Based Statistical Area or Combined Statistical Area 
may be stated in the field of membership--for example, ``Fort Wayne, 
IN Metropolitan Statistical Area,'' ``Albany, GA Metropolitan 
Statistical Area,'' or ``Syracuse-Auburn, NY Combined Statistical 
Area.''

V.A.6--Special Community Charters

    A community field of membership may include persons who work or 
attend school in a particular industrial park, shopping mall, office 
building or complex, or similar development. The proposed field of 
membership must have clearly defined geographic boundaries.

V.A. Ample Community Fields of Membership

    A community charter does not have to include all four affinities 
(i.e., live, work, worship, or attend school in a community). Some 
examples of community fields of membership are:
     Persons who live, work, worship, or attend school in, 
and businesses located in the area of Johnson City, Tennessee, 
bounded by Fern Street on the north, Long Street on the east, Fourth 
Street on the south, and Elm Avenue on the west;
     Persons who live or work in Green County, Maine;
     Persons who live, worship, work (or regularly conduct 
business in), or attend school on the University of Dayton campus, 
in Dayton, Ohio;
     Persons who work for businesses located in Clifton 
Country Mall, in Clifton Park, New York;
     Persons who live, work, or worship in the Binghamton, 
New York, Core Based Statistical Area, consisting of Broome and 
Tioga Counties, New York (a qualifying Core Based Statistical Area 
in its entirety);
     Persons who live, work, worship, or attend school in 
the portion of the Oklahoma City, OK Metropolitan Statistical Area 
that includes Canadian and Oklahoma counties, Oklahoma (two 
contiguous counties in a portion of a qualifying Core Based 
Statistical Area that has seven counties in total); or
     Persons who live, work, worship, or attend school in 
Uinta County or Lincoln County, Wyoming, a rural district.
    Some examples of insufficiently defined local communities, 
neighborhoods, or rural districts are:
     Persons who live or work within and businesses located 
within a ten-mile radius of Washington, DC (not a permitted 
community);
     Persons who live or work in the industrial section of 
New York, New York. (not well- defined nor a permitted community); 
or
     Persons who live or work in the greater Boston area. 
(not well-defined).
    Some examples of unacceptable local communities, neighborhoods, 
or rural districts are:
     Persons who live or work in the State of California. 
(not a permitted community). Persons who live in the first 
congressional district of Florida. (not a permitted community).

V.B--Field of Membership Amendments

    A community credit union may amend its field of membership by 
adding additional affinities or removing exclusionary clauses. This 
can be accomplished with a housekeeping amendment.
    A community credit union also may expand its geographic 
boundaries. Persons who live, work, worship, or attend school within 
the proposed well-defined local community, neighborhood or rural 
district must have common interests and/or interact. The credit 
union must follow the requirements of Section V.A.4 of this chapter.
    A community credit union that is based on a Single Political 
Jurisdiction, a Statistical Area (e.g., Core Based Statistical Area 
or

[[Page 88442]]

Combined Statistical Area) or a rural district may expand its 
geographic boundaries to add a bordering area, provided the area is 
well defined and the credit union demonstrates that persons who 
live, work, worship, or attend school within the proposed expanded 
community (i.e., on both sides of the boundary separating the 
existing community and the bordering area) have common interests 
and/or interact. Such a credit union applying to expand its 
geographic boundaries to add a bordering area must follow a 
streamlined version of the business plan requirements of Section 
V.A.4 of this chapter and the expanded community would be subject to 
the corresponding population limit--2.5 million in the case of a 
Single Political Jurisdiction, or a Statistical Area and 1 million 
in the case of a rural district. The streamlined business plan 
requirements for adding a bordering area are:
     Anticipated marginal financial impact on the credit 
union of adding the proposed bordering area, including the need for 
additional employees and fixed assets, and the associated costs;
     A description of the current and, if applicable, 
proposed office/branch structure specific to serving the proposed 
bordering area;
     A marketing plan addressing how the new community will 
be served for the 24-month period after the proposed expansion of a 
community charter, including detailing how the credit union will 
address the unique needs of any demographic groups in the proposed 
bordering community not presently served by the credit union and how 
the credit union will market to any new groups; and
     Details, terms and conditions of any new financial 
products, programs, and services to be introduced as part of this 
expansion.

V.C--NCUA Procedures for Amending the Field of Membership

V.C.1--General

    All requests for approval to amend a community credit union's 
charter must be submitted to the Office of Consumer Financial 
Protection and Access Director. If a decision cannot be made within 
a reasonable period of time, the Office of Consumer Financial 
Protection and Access Director will notify the credit union.

V.C.2--NCUA's Decision

    The financial and operational condition of the requesting credit 
union will be considered in every instance. The economic 
advisability of expanding the field of membership of a credit union 
with financial or operational problems must be carefully considered.
    In most cases, field of membership amendments will only be 
approved for credit unions that are operating satisfactorily. 
Generally, if a federal credit union is having difficulty providing 
service to its current membership, or is experiencing financial or 
other operational problems, it may have more difficulty serving an 
expanded field of membership.
    Occasionally, however, an expanded field of membership may 
provide the basis for reversing current financial problems. In such 
cases, an amendment to expand the field of membership may be granted 
notwithstanding the credit union's financial or operational 
problems. The applicant credit union must clearly establish that the 
expanded field of membership is in the best interest of the members 
and will not increase the risk to the NCUSIF.

V.C.3--NCUA Approval

    If the requested amendment is approved by NCUA, the credit union 
will be issued an amendment to Section 5 of its charter.

V.C.4--NCUA Disapproval

    When NCUA disapproves any application to amend the field of 
membership, in whole or in part, under this chapter, the applicant 
will be informed in writing of the:
     Specific reasons for the action;
     If appropriate, options or suggestions that could be 
considered for gaining approval; and
     Appeal procedures.

V.C.5--Appeal of Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access 
Director Decision

    If a field of membership expansion request, merger, or spin-off 
is denied by staff, the federal credit union may appeal the decision 
to the NCUA Board. An appeal must be sent to the NCUA Board 
Secretary within 60 days of the date of denial and must be clearly 
identified as such and address the specific reason(s) the federal 
credit union disagrees with the denial. A copy of the appeal must be 
sent to the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access or, 
as applicable, the appropriate regional office or Office of National 
Examinations and Supervision Director. NCUA central office staff 
will make an independent review of the facts and present the appeal 
to the NCUA Board with a recommendation.
    Before appealing, the credit union may, within 30 days of the 
denial, provide supplemental information to the office rendering the 
initial decision for reconsideration. A reconsideration will contain 
new and material evidence addressing the reasons for the initial 
denial. The office rendering the initial decision will have 30 days 
from the date of the receipt of the request for reconsideration to 
make a final decision. If the request is again denied, the applicant 
may proceed with the appeal process within 60 days of the date of 
the last denial. A second request for reconsideration will be 
treated as an appeal to the NCUA Board.

V. D--Mergers, Purchase and Assumptions, and Spin-Offs

    There are three additional ways a community federal credit union 
can expand its field of membership:
     By taking in the field of membership of another credit 
union through a merger;
     By taking in the field of membership through a purchase 
and assumption (P&A); or
     By taking a portion of another credit union's field of 
membership through a spin-off.

V.D. Mergers

    Generally, the requirements applicable to field of membership 
expansions apply to mergers where the continuing credit union is a 
community federal charter.
    Where both credit unions are community charters, the continuing 
credit union must meet the criteria for expanding the community 
boundaries. A community credit union cannot merge into a single 
occupational/associational, or multiple common bond credit union, 
except in an emergency merger. However, a single occupational or 
associational, or multiple common bond credit union can merge into a 
community charter as long as the merging credit union has a service 
facility within the community boundaries or a majority of the 
merging credit union's field of membership would qualify for 
membership in the community charter. While a community charter may 
take in an occupational, associational, or multiple common bond 
credit union in a merger, it will remain a community charter.
    Groups within the merging credit union's field of membership 
located outside of the community boundaries may not continue to be 
served. The merging credit union must notify groups that will be 
removed from the field of membership as a result of the merger. 
However, the credit union may continue to serve members of record.
    Where a state-chartered credit union is merging into a community 
federal credit union, the continuing federal credit union's field of 
membership will be worded in accordance with NCUA policy. Any 
subsequent field of membership expansions must comply with 
applicable amendment procedures.
    Mergers must be approved by the NCUA regional director or Office 
of National Examinations and Supervision Director where the 
continuing credit union is headquartered, with the concurrence of 
the regional director or Office of National Examinations and 
Supervision Director of the merging credit union, and, as 
applicable, the state regulators.

V.D. Emergency Mergers

    An emergency merger may be approved by NCUA without regard to 
common bond or other legal constraints. An emergency merger involves 
NCUA's direct intervention and approval. The credit union to be 
merged must either be insolvent or in danger of insolvency, as 
defined in the Glossary, and NCUA must determine that:
     An emergency requiring expeditious action exists;
     Other alternatives are not reasonably available; and
     The public interest would best be served by approving 
the merger.
    If not corrected, conditions that could lead to insolvency 
include, but are not limited to:
     Abandonment by management;
     Loss of sponsor;
     Serious and persistent record-keeping problems; or
     Serious and persistent operational concerns.
    In an emergency merger situation, NCUA will take an active role 
in finding a suitable merger partner (continuing credit union). NCUA 
is primarily concerned that the continuing credit union has the 
financial

[[Page 88443]]

strength and management expertise to absorb the troubled credit 
union without adversely affecting its own financial condition and 
stability.
    As a stipulated condition to an emergency merger, the field of 
membership of the merging credit union may be transferred intact to 
the continuing federal credit union without regard to any field of 
membership restrictions, including the service facility requirement. 
Under this authority, a federal credit union may take in any 
dissimilar field of membership.
    Even though the merging credit union is a single common bond 
credit union or multiple common bond credit union or community 
credit union, the continuing credit union will remain a community 
charter. Future community expansions will be based on the continuing 
credit union's original community area.
    Emergency mergers involving federally insured credit unions in 
different NCUA regions must be approved by the regional director or 
Office of National Examinations and Supervision Director where the 
continuing credit union is headquartered, with the concurrence of 
the regional director or Office of National Examinations and 
Supervision Director of the merging credit union and, as applicable, 
the state regulators.

V.D. Purchase and Assumption (P&A)

    Another alternative for acquiring the field of membership of a 
failing credit union is through a consolidation known as a P&A. 
Generally, the requirements applicable to community expansions found 
in this chapter apply to purchase and assumptions where the 
purchasing credit union is a federal charter.
    A P&A has limited application because, in most instances, the 
failing credit union must be placed into involuntary liquidation. 
However, in the few instances where a P&A may occur, the assuming 
federal credit union, as with emergency mergers, may acquire the 
entire field of membership if the emergency criteria are satisfied.
    In a P&A processed under the emergency criteria, specified 
loans, shares, and certain other designated assets and liabilities 
may also be acquired without regard to field of membership 
restrictions and without changing the character of the continuing 
federal credit union for purposes of future field of membership 
amendments.
    If the P&A does not meet the emergency criteria, then only 
members of record can be obtained unless they otherwise qualify for 
membership in the community charter.
    P&As involving federally insured credit unions in different NCUA 
regions must be approved by the regional director or Office of 
National Examinations and Supervision Director where the continuing 
credit union is headquartered, with the concurrence of the regional 
director or Office of National Examinations and Supervision Director 
of the purchased and/or assumed credit union and, as applicable, the 
state regulators.

V.D.4--Spin-Offs

    A spin-off occurs when, by agreement of the parties, a portion 
of the field of membership, assets, liabilities, shares, and capital 
of a credit union are transferred to a new or existing credit union. 
A spin-off is unique in that usually one credit union has a field of 
membership expansion and the other loses a portion of its field of 
membership.
    All field of membership requirements apply regardless of whether 
the spun-off group goes to a new or existing federal charter.
    The request for approval of a spin-off must be supported with a 
plan that addresses, at a minimum:
     Why the spin-off is being requested;
     What part of the field of membership is to be spun off;
     Whether the field of membership requirements are met;
     Which assets, liabilities, shares, and capital are to 
be transferred;
     The financial impact the spin-off will have on the 
affected credit unions;
     The ability of the acquiring credit union to 
effectively serve the new members;
     The proposed spin-off date; and
     Disclosure to the members of the requirements set forth 
above.
    The spin-off request must also include current financial 
statements from the affected credit unions and the proposed voting 
ballot.
    For federal credit unions spinning off a portion of the 
community, membership notice and voting requirements and procedures 
are the same as for mergers (see part 708 of the NCUA Rules and 
Regulations), except that only the members directly affected by the 
spin-off--those whose shares are to be transferred--are permitted to 
vote. Members whose shares are not being transferred will not be 
afforded the opportunity to vote. All members of the group to be 
spun off (whether they voted in favor, against, or not at all) will 
be transferred if the spin-off is approved by the voting membership. 
Voting requirements for federally insured state credit unions are 
governed by state law.

V.E--Overlaps

V.E.1--General

    Generally, an overlap exists when a group of persons is eligible 
for membership in two or more credit unions. NCUA will permit 
community credit unions to overlap any other charters without 
performing an overlap analysis.

V.E. Exclusionary Clauses

    An exclusionary clause is a limitation precluding the credit 
union from serving the primary members of a portion of a group or 
community otherwise included in its field of membership.
    NCUA no longer grants exclusionary clauses. Those granted prior 
to the adoption of this new Chartering and Field of Membership 
Manual will remain in effect unless the credit unions agree to 
remove them or one of the affected credit unions submits a 
housekeeping amendment to have it removed.

V.F--Charter Conversions

    A community federal credit union may convert to a single 
occupational or associational, or multiple common bond credit union. 
The converting credit union must meet all occupational, 
associational, and multiple common bond requirements, as applicable. 
The converting credit union may continue to serve members of record 
of the prior field of membership as of the date of the conversion, 
and any groups or communities obtained in an emergency merger or 
P&A. A change to the credit union's field of membership and 
designated common bond will be necessary.
    A community credit union may convert to serve a new geographical 
area provided the field of membership requirements of V.A.3 of this 
chapter are met. Members of record of the original community can 
continue to be served.

V.G--Other Persons With a Relationship to the Community

    A number of persons who have a close relationship to the 
community may be included, at the charter applicant's option, in the 
field of membership. These include the following:
     Spouses of persons who died while within the field of 
membership of this credit union;
     Employees of this credit union;
     Volunteers in the community;
     Members of the immediate family or household; and
     Organizations of such persons
    Immediate family is defined as spouse, child, sibling, parent, 
grandparent, or grandchild. This includes stepparents, stepchildren, 
stepsiblings, and adoptive relationships.
    Household is defined as persons living in the same residence 
maintaining a single economic unit.
    Membership eligibility is extended only to individuals who are 
members of an ``immediate family or household'' of a credit union 
member. It is not necessary for the primary member to join the 
credit union in order for the immediate family or household member 
of the primary member to join, provided the immediate family or 
household clause is included in the field of membership. However, it 
is necessary for the immediate family member or household member to 
first join in order for that person's immediate family member or 
household member to join the credit union. A credit union can adopt 
a more restrictive definition of immediate family or household.
    Under the Federal Credit Union Act, once a person becomes a 
member of the credit union, such person may remain a member of the 
credit union until the person chooses to withdraw or is expelled 
from the membership of the credit union. This is commonly referred 
to as ``once a member, always a member.'' The ``once a member, 
always a member'' provision does not prevent a credit union from 
restricting services to members who are no longer within the field 
of membership.

Chapter 3--Low-Income Credit Unions and Credit Unions Serving 
Underserved Areas

I--Introduction

    One of the primary reasons for the creation of federal credit 
unions is to make credit available to people of modest means for

[[Page 88444]]

provident and productive purposes. To help NCUA fulfill this 
mission, the agency has established special operational policies for 
federal credit unions that serve low-income groups and underserved 
areas. The policies provide a greater degree of flexibility that 
will enhance and invigorate capital infusion into low-income groups, 
low-income communities, and underserved areas. These unique policies 
are necessary to provide credit unions serving low-income groups 
with financial stability and potential for controlled growth and to 
encourage the formation of new charters as well as the delivery of 
credit union services in low-income communities.

II--Low-Income Credit Union

II.A--Defined

    A credit union serving predominantly low-income members may be 
designated as a low- income credit union. Section 701.34 of NCUA's 
Rules and Regulations defines the term ``low- income members'' as 
those members:
     Who make less than 80 percent of the average for all 
wage earners as established by the Bureau of Labor Statistics; or
     Whose median family income falls at or below 80 percent 
of the median family income for the nation as established by the 
Census Bureau.
    The term ``low-income members'' also includes members who are 
full-time or part-time students in a college, university, high 
school, or vocational school.
    To obtain a low-income designation from NCUA, an existing credit 
union must establish that a majority of its members meet the low-
income definition. An existing community credit union that serves a 
geographic area where a majority of residents meet the annual income 
standard is presumed to be serving predominantly low-income members. 
A low-income designation for a new credit union charter may be based 
on a majority of the potential membership.

II.B--Special Programs

    A credit union with a low-income designation has greater 
flexibility in accepting nonmember deposits insured by the NCUSIF, 
are exempt from the aggregate loan limit on business loans, and may 
offer secondary capital accounts to strengthen its capital base. It 
also may participate in special funding programs such as the 
Community Development Revolving Loan Program for Credit Unions 
(CDRLP) if it is involved in the stimulation of economic development 
and community revitalization efforts.
    The CDRLP provides both loans and grants for technical 
assistance to low-income credit unions. The requirements for 
participation in the revolving loan program are in part 705 of the 
NCUA Rules and Regulations. Only operating credit unions are 
eligible for participation in this program.

II.C--Low-Income Documentation

    A federal credit union charter applicant or existing credit 
union wishing to receive a low- income designation should forward a 
separate request for the designation to the Office of Consumer 
Financial Protection and Access Director, along with appropriate 
documentation supporting the request.
    For community charter applicants, the supporting material should 
include the median family income or annual wage figures for the 
community to be served. If this information is unavailable, the 
applicant should identify the individual zip codes or census tracts 
that comprise the community and NCUA will assist in obtaining the 
necessary demographic data.
    Similarly, if single occupational or associational or multiple 
common bond charter applicants cannot supply income data on its 
potential members, they should provide the Office of Consumer 
Financial Protection and Access Director with a list which includes 
the number of potential members, sorted by their residential zip 
codes, and NCUA will assist in obtaining the necessary demographic 
data.
    An existing credit union can perform a loan or membership survey 
to determine if the credit union is primarily serving low-income 
members.

II.D--Third-Party Assistance

    A low-income federal credit union charter applicant may contract 
with a third party to assist in the chartering and low-income 
designation process. If the charter is granted, a low-income credit 
union may contract with a third party to provide necessary 
management services. Such contracts should not exceed the duration 
of one year subject to renewal.

II.E--Special Rules for Low-Income Federal Credit Unions

    In recognition of the unique efforts needed to help make credit 
union service available to low-income groups, NCUA has adopted 
special rules that pertain to low-income credit union charters, as 
well as field of membership additions for low-income credit unions. 
These special rules provide additional latitude to enable 
underserved, low-income individuals to gain access to credit union 
service.
    NCUA permits credit union chartering and field of membership 
amendments based on associational groups formed for the sole purpose 
of making credit union service available to low- income persons. The 
association must be defined so that all of its members will meet the 
low- income definition of Section 701.34 of the NCUA Rules and 
Regulations. Any multiple common bond credit union can add low-
income associations to their fields of membership.
    A low-income designated community federal credit union has 
additional latitude in serving persons who are affiliated with the 
community. In addition to serving members who live, work, worship, 
or attend school in the community, a low-income community federal 
credit union may also serve persons who participate in programs to 
alleviate poverty or distress, or who participate in associations 
headquartered in the community.
    Examples of a low-income designated community and an 
associational-based low-income federal credit union are as follows:
     Persons who live in [the target area]; persons who 
work, worship, attend school, or participate in associations 
headquartered in [the target area]; persons participating in 
programs to alleviate poverty or distress which are located in [the 
target area]; incorporated and unincorporated organizations located 
in [the target area] or maintaining a facility in [the target area]; 
and organizations of such persons.
     Members of the Canarsie Economic Assistance League, in 
Brooklyn, NY, an association whose members all meet the low-income 
definition of Section 701.34 of the NCUA Rules and Regulations.

III--Service to Underserved Communities

III.A--General

    A multiple common bond federal credit union may include in its 
field of membership, without regard to location, an ``underserved 
area'' as defined by the Federal Credit Union Act. 12
    U.S.C. 1759(c)(2). The addition of an ``underserved area'' will 
not change the charter type of the multiple common bond federal 
credit union. More than one multiple common-bond federal credit 
union can serve the same ``underserved area,'' provided each credit 
union is approved as provided below.
    By adding an ``underserved area,'' a multiple common bond 
federal credit union does not become eligible to receive the 
benefits afforded to low-income designated credit unions, such as 
expanded use of nonmember deposits and access to the Community 
Development Revolving Loan Program for Credit Unions.

III.B--``Underserved Area'' Defined

    The Federal Credit Union Act defines an ``underserved area'' as 
(1) a ``local community, neighborhood, or rural district'' that (2) 
meets the definition of an ``investment area'' under section 103(16) 
of the Community Development Banking and Financial Institutions Act 
of 1994 (``CDFI''), 12 U.S.C. 4702(16), and (3) is ``underserved by 
other depository institutions'' based on data of the NCUA Board and 
the federal banking agencies.

III.B.1--Local Community

    To be eligible for approval as ``underserved,'' a proposed area 
must be a well-defined local community, neighborhood, or rural 
district as defined in Chapter 2, sections V.A.1. and V.A.2. of this 
Manual.

III.B.2--Investment Area

    To be approved as an ``underserved area,'' the proposed area 
must meet the CDFI definition of an ``investment area.'' Id. Sec.  
4702(16). A proposed area that, at the time the credit union 
applies, is designated in its entirety as an Empowerment Zone or 
Enterprise Community (id. Sec.  1391) automatically qualifies as an 
``investment area''; no further criteria of an ``investment area'' 
must be met. Id. Sec.  4702(16)(B). A proposed area that is not 
designated as such must qualify as an ``investment area'' under 
``the objective criteria of economic distress'' developed by the 
CDFI Fund (``distress criteria'') based on current decennial U.S. 
Census data, and also must have ``significant unmet needs'' for 
loans and financial services that credit unions are authorized to 
offer to their members. Id. Sec.  4702(16)(A).

[[Page 88445]]

III.B.2. Economic Distress Criteria

    Geographic Unit(s) By Proposed Area's Location. The location of 
a proposed ``underserved area'' either within or outside of a 
Metropolitan Statistical Area corresponding to the most recent 
completed decennial census published by the U.S. Bureau of the 
Census (``decennial Census'') determines the geographic unit(s) that 
apply to determine whether the area meets the distress criteria.
    Within a Metropolitan Statistical Area. For a proposed area 
located, in whole or in part, within a Metropolitan Statistical 
Area, the permissible geographic units (``Metro units'') for 
implementing the economic distress criteria are: (i) A census tract; 
(ii) a block group; and (iii) an American Indian or Alaskan Native 
area. 12 CFR 1805.201(b)(3)(ii)(B) (2008). For ease of 
implementation, it is advisable to use a census tract as the 
proposed area's Metro unit.
    Outside a Metropolitan Statistical Area. For a proposed area 
that is located entirely outside a Metropolitan Statistical Area, 
the permissible units (``Non-Metro units'') for implementing the 
economic distress criteria are: (i) A county or equivalent area; 
(ii) a minor civil division that is a unit of local government; 
(iii) an incorporated place; (iv) a census tract; (v) a block 
numbering area; (vi) a block group; and (vii) an American Indian or 
Alaskan Native area. Id. For ease of implementation, it is advisable 
to use either a census tract or county, as the case may be, as the 
proposed area's Non-Metro unit.
    Proposed Area Consisting of a Single Metro Unit. A proposed area 
consisting of a single whole Metro unit (e.g., a single census tract 
located within a Metropolitan Statistical Area) must meet one of the 
following distress criteria, as reported by the most recent 
decennial Census:
     Unemployment. The proposed area's unemployment rate is 
at least 1.5 times the national average; or
     Poverty. At least 20 percent (20%) of the proposed 
area's population lives in poverty; or
     Median Family Income. The proposed area's Median Family 
Income (``MFI'') is at or below 80 percent (80%) of either the MFI 
of the corresponding Metropolitan Statistical Area, or of the 
national MFI for Metro Areas, whichever is greater; or
     Other Criterion. Any other economic distress criterion 
the CDFI Fund may adopt in the future.
    Id. Sec.  1805.201(b)(3)(ii)(D)(1), (2)(i) and (3) (2008).
    Proposed Area Consisting of a Single Non-Metro Unit. A proposed 
area consisting of a single whole Non-Metro unit (e.g., a single 
county located outside a Metropolitan Statistical Area) must meet 
one of the following distress criteria, as reported by the most 
recent decennial Census:
     Unemployment. The proposed area's unemployment rate is 
at least 1.5 times the national average; or
     Poverty. At least 20 percent (20%) of the proposed 
area's population lives in poverty; or
     Median Family Income. The proposed area's MFI is at or 
below 80 percent (80%) of either the corresponding state's Non-Metro 
MFI or the national MFI for Non-Metro Areas, whichever is greater; 
or
     Other Criterion. Any other economic distress criterion 
the CDFI Fund may adopt in the future.
    
    Id. Sec.  1805.201(b)(3)(ii)(D)(1), (2)(ii) and (3) (2008). 
Alternatively, a proposed area consisting of a single Non-Metro 
county (located outside a Metropolitan Statistical Area) may instead 
meet either of the following two criteria, as reported by the 
decennial Census:
     County Population Loss. County's population loss of at 
least 10 percent (10%) between the most recent and the preceding 
decennial Census; or
     County Migration Loss. County's net migration loss of 
at least 5 percent (5%) in the 5- year period preceding the most 
recent decennial Census.
    Id. Sec.  1805.201(b)(3)(ii)(D)(4)-(5) (2008).
    Proposed Area Consisting of Multiple Contiguous Units. When a 
proposed area consists of either multiple contiguous Metro units 
(e.g., a group of adjoining census tracts) or multiple contiguous 
Non-Metro units (e.g., a group of adjoining counties), a population 
threshold applies when implementing the economic distress criteria. 
At least 85 percent (85%) of the area's total population must reside 
within the units that are ``distressed,'' i.e., that meet one of the 
applicable economic distress criteria above, as reported by the 
decennial Census (Unemployment, Poverty and MFI for census tracts 
plus, for counties only, Population Loss and Migration Loss); the 
balance of the area's population may reside in the non-
``distressed'' tract(s). The population threshold is met, and the 
whole proposed area qualifies as ``distressed,'' when the 
``distressed'' units represent at least 85 percent of the area's 
total population.

III.B.2.b--Proposed Area's ``Significant Unmet Needs''

    A proposed area that is ``distressed'' also must display 
``significant unmet needs'' for loans or for one or more of the 
financial services credit unions are authorized to offer. To meet 
this criterion, the credit union must include within its Business 
Plan a section, one page in length, entitled ``Significant Unmet 
Needs for Credit Union Services'' (``SUN section'') that establishes 
the existence of such unmet needs by identifying the credit and 
depository needs of the community and detailing how the credit union 
plans to serve those needs. The credit union may choose which among 
the following ``credit and depository needs'' to address in the SUN 
section: loans, share draft accounts, savings accounts, check 
cashing, money orders, certified checks, automated teller machines, 
deposit taking, safe deposit box services, and similar services. The 
existence of each ``credit and depository need'' the credit union 
identifies and plans to serve must be supported by objective reasons 
and/or accompanying documentation derived from an identified, 
authoritative source of the credit union's choice. Third-party 
documentation generally is the most compelling.

III.B.3--Underserved by Other Depository Institutions

    A proposed area that meets the CDFI definition of an 
``investment area'' (i.e., is ``distressed'' and has ``significant 
unmet needs'') must also be underserved by other insured depository 
institutions, including credit unions. 12 U.S.C. 1759(c)(2)(A)(ii). 
This statutory criterion is met when the concentration of depository 
institution facilities among the population of the proposed area's 
non-``distressed'' tracts--which sets a benchmark level of adequate 
service--is greater than the concentration of facilities among the 
population of all of the proposed area's census tracts combined. 
This establishes the area's concentration of facilities ratio. If 
there are no non- ``distressed'' tracts within a proposed area, a 
non-``distressed'' census tract or larger geographic unit (e.g., 
city or county) of the credit union's choice that adjoins the 
proposed area may be used to set the benchmark concentration ratio.
    Without regard to a proposed area's location within or outside a 
Metropolitan Statistical Area, this criterion compares two ratios: 
the ratio of facilities to the population of the non- ``distressed'' 
tracts (the benchmark) versus the same facilities-to-population 
ratio among all the tracts of the proposed area as a whole. If the 
benchmark ratio is greater than the ratio for the whole area, then 
the area is ``underserved by other depository institutions,'' and 
vice versa.
    When, as the result of an initial Concentration of Facilities 
ratio calculation, a proposed area does not qualify as ``underserved 
by other depository institutions,'' NCUA will exclude non- 
depository banks (e.g., trust companies) and non-community credit 
unions (i.e., those institutions unable to serve the general public) 
from the computation. For the purposes of this analysis, a multiple 
common bond credit union already serving the area as an underserved 
area is considered able to serve the general public and thus would 
not be excluded. With both of these exclusions, NCUA will 
recalculate the concentration of facilities ratio to determine 
whether, as a result, the proposed area qualifies as ``underserved 
by other depository institutions.''
    As one alternative to the concentration of facilities ratio, a 
proposed area will qualify as ``underserved by other depository 
institutions'' if it is designated an ``underserved county'' by NCUA 
based on data produced by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau 
(available at: http://www.consumerfinance.gov/guidance/#ruralunderserved). NCUA will make its list of ``underserved 
counties'' available on its Web site.
    As another alternative to the concentration of facilities ratio, 
a proposed area will qualify as ``underserved by other depository 
institutions'' if the credit seeking to serve it, using a metric of 
its own choosing, provided that it is based on NCUA or other Federal 
banking agency data, that establishes to NCUA that the proposed area 
is ``underserved by other depository institutions.''

[[Page 88446]]

III.C--NCUA Approval

    If NCUA approves the request to add an ``underserved area,'' the 
credit union will be issued an amendment to Section 5 of its 
charter.

III.D--Approval to Serve an Already Approved ``Underserved Area''

    Once a credit union is initially approved to serve an 
``underserved area,'' other credit unions that subsequently apply 
may be approved to serve the same area. To be approved, the area 
must qualify as ``underserved'' at the time the new applicant 
applies. An applicant must demonstrate that the area continues to be 
``distressed'', as provided above, only if a new decennial Census 
has been published since the date the area was last approved. In any 
case, the applicant must demonstrate that the area still has 
``significant unmet needs'' for loans or credit union services (to 
qualify as an ``investment area''), and remains ``underserved by 
other depository institutions'' (to qualify as ``underserved'').

III.E--Business Plan

    A federal credit union that desires to include an underserved 
community in its field of membership must first develop, and submit 
for approval, a business plan specifying how it will serve the 
community. In addition, the business plan must include a SUN section 
as provided in section III.B.2.b. above. The credit union will be 
expected to regularly review the business plan to determine if the 
community is being adequately served. The Office of Consumer 
Financial Protection and Access Director may require periodic 
service status reports from a credit union about the ``underserved 
area'' to ensure that the needs of the community are being met, and 
must require such reports before NCUA allows a multiple common bond 
federal credit union to add an additional ``underserved area.''

III.F--Service Facility

    Once an ``underserved area'' has been added to a federal credit 
union's field of membership, the credit union must establish within 
two years, and maintain, an office or service facility in the 
community. A service facility is defined as a place where shares are 
accepted for members' accounts, loan applications are accepted and 
loans are disbursed. By definition, a service facility includes a 
credit union-owned branch, a shared branch, a mobile branch, or an 
office operated on a regularly scheduled weekly basis or a credit 
union owned electronic facility that meets, at a minimum, the above 
requirements. This definition does not include an ATM or the credit 
union's Internet Web site.

IV--Appeal Procedures for Denial of Underserved Area

IV.A--NCUA Disapproval

    When NCUA disapproves any application to add an ``underserved 
area'' in whole or in part, under this chapter, the applicant will 
be informed in writing of the:
     Specific reasons for the action;
     Options to consider, if appropriate, for gaining 
approval; and
     Appeal procedures.

IV.B--Appeal of Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access 
Director Decision

    If the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access 
Director denies an ``underserved area'' request, the federal credit 
union may appeal the decision to the NCUA Board. An appeal must be 
sent to the NCUA Board Secretary within 60 days of the date of 
denial. The appeal must be clearly identified as such and address 
the specific reason(s) the federal credit union disagrees with the 
denial. A copy of the appeal must be sent to the Office of Consumer 
Financial Protection and Access. NCUA central office staff will make 
an independent review of the facts and present the appeal to the 
NCUA Board with a recommendation.
    Before appealing, the credit union may, within 30 days of the 
denial, provide supplemental information to the Office of Consumer 
Financial Protection and Access Director for reconsideration. A 
reconsideration will contain new and material evidence addressing 
the reasons for the initial denial. The Office of Consumer Financial 
Protection and Access Director will have 30 days from the date of 
the receipt of the request for reconsideration to make a final 
decision. If the request is again denied, the applicant may proceed 
with the appeal process within 60 days of the date of the last 
denial. A second request for reconsideration will be treated as an 
appeal to the NCUA Board.

Chapter 4--Charter Conversions

I--Introduction

    A charter conversion is a change in the jurisdictional authority 
under which a credit union operates.
    Federal credit unions receive their charters from NCUA and are 
subject to its supervision, examination, and regulation.
    State-chartered credit unions are incorporated in a particular 
state, receiving their charter from the state agency responsible for 
credit unions and subject to the state's regulator. If the state-
chartered credit union's deposits are federally insured, it will 
also fall under NCUA's jurisdiction.
    A federal credit union's power and authority are derived from 
the Federal Credit Union Act and NCUA Rules and Regulations. State-
chartered credit unions are governed by state law and regulation. 
Certain federal laws and regulations also apply to federally insured 
state chartered credit unions.
    There are two types of charter conversions: federal charter to 
state charter and state charter to federal charter. Common bond and 
community requirements are not an issue from NCUA's standpoint in 
the case of a federal to state charter conversion. The procedures 
and forms relevant to both types of charter conversion are included 
in appendix 4.

II--Conversion of a State Credit Union to a Federal Credit Union

II.A--General Requirements

    Any state-chartered credit union may apply to convert to a 
federal credit union. In order to do so it must:
     Comply with state law regarding conversion and file 
proof of compliance with NCUA;
     File the required conversion application, proposed 
federal credit union organization certificate, and other documents 
with NCUA;
     Comply with the requirements of the Federal Credit 
Union Act, e.g., chartering and reserve requirements; and
     Be granted federal share insurance by NCUA.
    Conversions are treated the same as any initial application for 
a federal charter, including an on-site examination by NCUA where 
appropriate. NCUA will also consult with the appropriate state 
authority regarding the credit union's current financial condition, 
management expertise, and past performance. Since the applicant in a 
conversion is an ongoing credit union, the economic advisability of 
granting a charter is more readily determinable than in the case of 
an initial charter applicant.
    A converting state credit union's field of membership must 
conform to NCUA's chartering policy. The field of membership will be 
phrased in accordance with NCUA chartering policy. However, if the 
converting credit union is a multiple group charter and the new 
federal charter is a multiple group, then the new federal charter 
may retain in its field of membership any group that the state 
credit union was serving at the time of conversion. Subsequent 
changes must conform to NCUA chartering policy in effect at that 
time.
    If the converting credit union is a community charter and the 
new federal charter is community-based, it must meet the community 
field of membership requirements set forth in Chapter 2, Section V 
of this manual. If the state-chartered credit union's community 
boundary is more expansive than the approved federal boundary, only 
members of record outside of the new community boundary may continue 
to be served.
    The converting credit union, regardless of charter type, may 
continue to serve members of record. The converting credit union may 
retain in its field of membership any group or community added 
pursuant to state emergency provisions.

II.B--Submission of Conversion Proposal to NCUA

    The following documents must be submitted with the conversion 
proposal:
     Conversion of State Charter to Federal Charter (NCUA 
4000);
     Organization Certificate (NCUA 4008). Only Part (3) and 
the signature/notary section should be completed and, where 
applicable, signed by the credit union officials.
     Report of Officials and Agreement to Serve (NCUA 4012);
     The Application to Convert From State Credit Union to 
Federal Credit Union (NCUA 4401);
     The Application and Agreements for Insurance of 
Accounts (NCUA 9500);
     Certification of Resolution (NCUA 9501);
     Written evidence regarding whether the state regulator 
is in agreement with the conversion proposal; and

[[Page 88447]]

     Business plan, as appropriate, including the most 
current financial report and delinquent loan schedule.
    If the state charter is applying to become a federal community 
charter, it must also comply with the documentation requirements 
included in Chapter 2, Section V.A.2 of this manual.

II.C--NCUA Consideration of Application To Convert

II.C.1--Review by the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and 
Access Director

    The application will be reviewed to determine that it is 
complete and that the proposal is in compliance with Section 125 of 
the Federal Credit Union Act. This review will include a 
determination that the state credit union's field of membership is 
in compliance with NCUA's chartering policies. The Office of 
Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director may make further 
investigation into the proposal and may require the submission of 
additional information to support the request to convert.

II.C.2--On-Site Review

    NCUA may conduct an on-site examination of the books and records 
of the credit union. Non-federally insured credit unions will be 
assessed an insurance application fee.

II.C.3--Approval by the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and 
Access Director and Conditions to the Approval

    The conversion will be approved by the Office of Consumer 
Financial Protection and Access Director if it is in compliance with 
Section 125 of the Federal Credit Union Act and meets the criteria 
for federal insurance. Where applicable, the Office of Consumer 
Financial Protection and Access Director will specify any special 
conditions that the credit union must meet in order to convert to a 
federal charter, including changes to the credit union's field of 
membership in order to conform to NCUA's chartering policies. Some 
of these conditions may be set forth in a Letter of Understanding 
and Agreement (LUA), which requires the signature of the officials 
and the appropriate NCUA regional director or Office of National 
Examinations and Supervision Director.

II.C.4--Notification

    The Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director 
will notify both the credit union and the state regulator of the 
decision on the conversion.

II.C.5--NCUA Disapproval

    When NCUA disapproves any application to convert to a federal 
charter, the applicant will be informed in writing of the:
     Specific reasons for the action;
     Options to consider, if appropriate, for gaining 
approval; and
     Appeal procedures.

II.C.6--Appeal of Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access 
Director Decision

    If a conversion to a federal charter is denied by the Office of 
Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director, the applicant 
credit union may appeal the decision to the NCUA Board. An appeal 
must be sent to the NCUA Board Secretary within 60 days of the date 
of denial. The appeal must be clearly identified as such and address 
the specific reason(s) the credit union disagrees with the denial. A 
copy of the appeal must be sent to the Office of Consumer Financial 
Protection and Access. NCUA central office staff will make an 
independent review of the facts and present the appeal to the NCUA 
Board with a recommendation.
    Before appealing, the credit union may, within 30 days of the 
denial, provide supplemental information to the Office of Consumer 
Financial Protection and Access Director for reconsideration. The 
request will not be considered as an appeal, but a request for 
reconsideration by the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and 
Access Director. The Office of Consumer Financial Protection and 
Access Director will have 30 business days from the date of the 
receipt of the request for reconsideration to make a final decision. 
If the application is again denied, the credit union may proceed 
with the appeal process to the NCUA Board within 60 days of the date 
of the last denial by the Office of Consumer Financial Protection 
and Access Director.

II.D--Action by Board of Directors

II.D.1--General

    Upon being informed of the Office of Consumer Financial 
Protection and Access Director's preliminary approval, the board 
must:
     Comply with all requirements of the state regulator 
that will enable the credit union to convert to a federal charter 
and cease being a state credit union;
     Obtain a letter or official statement from the state 
regulator certifying that the credit union has met all of the state 
requirements and will cease to be a state credit union upon its 
receiving a federal charter. A copy of this document must be 
submitted to the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access 
Director;
     Obtain a letter from the private share insurer 
(includes excess share insurers), if applicable, certifying that the 
credit union has met all withdrawal requirements. A copy of this 
document must be submitted to the Office of Consumer Financial 
Protection and Access Director; and
     Submit a statement of the action taken to comply with 
any conditions imposed by the Office of Consumer Financial 
Protection and Access Director in the preliminary approval of the 
conversion proposal and, if applicable, submit the signed LUA.

II.D.Application for a Federal Charter

    When the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access 
Director has received evidence that the board of directors has 
satisfactorily completed the actions described above, the federal 
charter and new Certificate of Insurance will be issued.
    The credit union may then complete the conversion as discussed 
in the following section. A denial of a conversion application can 
be appealed. Refer to Section II.C.6 of this chapter.

II.E--Completion of the Conversion

II.E.--Effective Date of Conversion

    The date on which the Office of Consumer Financial Protection 
and Access Director approves the Organization Certificate and the 
Application and Agreements for Insurance of Accounts is the date on 
which the credit union becomes a federal credit union. The Office of 
Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director will notify the 
credit union and the state regulator of the date of the conversion.

II.E.2--Assumption of Assets and Liabilities

    As of the effective date of the conversion, the federal credit 
union will be the owner of all of the assets and will be responsible 
for all of the liabilities and share accounts of the state credit 
union.

II.E.3--Board of Directors' Meeting

    Upon receipt of its federal charter, the board will hold its 
first meeting as a federal credit union. At this meeting, the board 
will transact such business as is necessary to complete the 
conversion as approved and to operate the credit union in accordance 
with the requirements of the Federal Credit Union Act and NCUA Rules 
and Regulations.
    As of the commencement of operations, the accounting system, 
records, and forms must conform to the standards established by 
NCUA.

II.E.4--Credit Union's Name

    Changing of the credit union's name on all signage, records, 
accounts, investments, and other documents should be accomplished as 
soon as possible after conversion. The credit union has 180 days 
from the effective date of the conversion to change its signage and 
promotional material. This requires the credit union to discontinue 
using any remaining stock of ``state credit union'' stationery 
immediately, and discontinue using credit cards, ATM cards, etc., 
within 180 days after the effective date of the conversion, or the 
reissue date whichever is later. The Office of Consumer Financial 
Protection and Access Director has the discretion to extend the 
timeframe for an additional 180 days. Member share drafts with the 
state-chartered name can be used by the members until depleted.

II.E.Reports to NCUA

    Within 10 business days after commencement of operations, the 
recently converted federal credit union must submit to the Office of 
Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director the following:
     Report of Officials (NCUA 4501); and
     Financial and Statistical Reports, as of the 
commencement of business of the federal credit union.

III--Conversion of a Federal Credit Union to a State Credit Union

III.A--General Requirements

    Any federal credit union may apply to convert to a state credit 
union. In order to do so, it must:
     Notify NCUA prior to commencing the process to convert 
to a state charter and state the reason(s) for the conversion;
     Comply with the requirements of Section 125 of the 
Federal Credit Union Act that

[[Page 88448]]

enable it to convert to a state credit union and to cease being a 
federal credit union; and
     Comply with applicable state law and the requirements 
of the state regulator.
    It is important that the credit union provide an accurate 
disclosure of the reasons for the conversion. These reasons should 
be stated in specific terms, not as generalities. The federal credit 
union converting to a state charter remains responsible for the 
entire operating fee for the year in which it converts.

III.B--Special Provisions Regarding Federal Share Insurance

    If the federal credit union intends to continue federal share 
insurance after the conversion to a state credit union, it must 
submit an Application for Insurance of Accounts (NCUA 9600) to the 
Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director at the 
time it requests approval of the conversion proposal. The Office of 
Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director has the authority 
to approve or disapprove the application.
    If the converting federal credit union does not intend to 
continue federal share insurance or if its application for continued 
insurance is denied, insurance will cease in accordance with the 
provisions of Section 206 of the Federal Credit Union Act.
    If, upon its conversion to a state credit union, the federal 
credit union will be terminating its federal share insurance or 
converting from federal to non-federal share insurance, it must 
comply with the membership notice and voting procedures set forth in 
Section 206 of the Federal Credit Union Act and part 708 of NCUA's 
Rules and Regulations, and address the criteria set forth in Section 
205(c) of the Federal Credit Union Act.
    Where the state credit union will be non-federally insured, 
federal insurance ceases on the effective date of the charter 
conversion. If it will be otherwise uninsured, then federal 
insurance will cease one year after the date of conversion subject 
to the restrictions in Section 206(d)(1) of the Federal Credit Union 
Act. In either case, the state credit union will be entitled to a 
refund of the federal credit union's NCUSIF capitalization deposit 
after the final date on which any of its shares are federally 
insured.
    The NCUA Board reserves the right to delay the refund of the 
capitalization deposit for up to one year if it determines that 
payment would jeopardize the NCUSIF.

III.C--Submission of Conversion Proposal to NCUA

    Upon approval of a proposition for conversion by a majority vote 
of the board of directors at a meeting held in accordance with the 
federal credit union's bylaws, the conversion proposal will be 
submitted to the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access 
Director and will include:
     A current financial report;
     A current delinquent loan schedule;
     An explanation and appropriate documents relative to 
any changes in insurance of member accounts;
     A resolution of the board of directors;
     A proposed Notice of Special Meeting of the Members 
(NCUA 4221);
     A copy of the ballot to be sent to all members (NCUA 
4506);
     If the credit union intends to continue with federal 
share insurance, an application for insurance of accounts (NCUA 
9600);
     Evidence that the state regulator is in agreement with 
the conversion proposal; and
     A statement of reasons supporting the request to 
convert.

III.D--Approval of Proposal to Convert

III.D.1--Review by the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and 
Access Director

    The proposal will be reviewed to determine that it is complete 
and is in compliance with Section 125 of the Federal Credit Union 
Act. The Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director 
may make further investigation into the proposal and require the 
submission of additional information to support the request.

III.D.2--Conditions to the Approval

    The Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director 
will specify any special conditions that the credit union must meet 
in order to proceed with the conversion.

III.D.3--Approval by the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and 
Access Director

    The proposal will be approved by the Office of Consumer 
Financial Protection and Access Director if it is in compliance with 
Section 125 and, in the case where the state credit union will no 
longer be federally insured, the notice and voting requirements of 
Section 206 of the Federal Credit Union Act.

III.D.4--Notification

    The Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director 
will notify both the credit union and the state regulator of the 
decision on the proposal.

III.D.UA Disapproval

    When NCUA disapproves any application to convert to a state 
charter, the applicant will be informed in writing of the:
     Specific reasons for the action;
     If appropriate, options or suggestions that could be 
considered for gaining approval; and
     Appeal procedures.

III.D.6--Appeal of Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access 
Director Decision

    If the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access 
Director denies a conversion to a state charter, the federal credit 
union may appeal the decision to the NCUA Board. An appeal must be 
sent to the NCUA Board Secretary within 60 days of the date of 
denial. The appeal must be clearly identified as such and address 
the specific reason(s) the federal credit union disagrees with the 
denial. A copy of the appeal must be sent to the Office of Consumer 
Financial Protection and Access. NCUA central office staff will make 
an independent review of the facts and present the appeal to the 
NCUA Board with a recommendation.
    Before appealing, the credit union may, within 30 days of the 
denial, provide supplemental information to the Office of Consumer 
Financial Protection and Access Director for reconsideration. The 
request will not be considered as an appeal, but a request for 
reconsideration by the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and 
Access Director. The Office of Consumer Financial Protection and 
Access Director will have 30 business days from the date of the 
receipt of the request for reconsideration to make a final decision. 
If the application is again denied, the credit union may proceed 
with the appeal process to the NCUA Board within 60 days of the date 
of the last denial by the Office of Consumer Financial Protection 
and Access Director.

III.E--Approval of Proposal by Members

    The members may not vote on the proposal until it is approved by 
the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director. 
Once approval of the proposal is received, the following actions 
will be taken by the board of directors:
     The proposal must be submitted to the members for 
approval and a date set for a meeting to vote on the proposal. The 
proposal may be acted on at the annual meeting or at a special 
meeting for that purpose. The members must also be given the 
opportunity to vote by written ballot to be filed by the date set 
for the meeting.
     Members must be given advance notice (NCUA 4221) of the 
meeting at which the proposal is to be submitted. The notice must:
     Specify the purpose, time and place of the meeting;
     Include a brief, complete, and accurate statement of 
the reasons for and against the proposed conversion, including any 
effects it could have upon share holdings, insurance of member 
accounts, and the policies and practices of the credit union;
     Specify the costs of the conversion, i.e., changing the 
credit union's name, examination and operating fees, attorney and 
consulting fees, tax liability, etc.;
     Inform the members that they have the right to vote on 
the proposal at the meeting, or by written ballot to be filed not 
later than the date and time announced for the annual meeting, or at 
the special meeting called for that purpose;
     Be accompanied by a Federal to State Conversion--Ballot 
for Conversion Proposal (NCUA 4506); and
     State in bold face type that the issue will be decided 
by a majority of members who vote.
     The proposed conversion must be approved by a majority 
of all of the members who vote on the proposal, a quorum being 
present, in order for the credit union to proceed further with the 
proposition, provided federal insurance is maintained. If the 
proposed state-chartered credit union will not be federally insured, 
20 percent of the total membership must participate in the voting, 
and of those, a majority must vote in favor of the proposal. Ballots 
cast by members who did not attend the meeting but who submitted 
their ballots in accordance with instructions above will be counted 
with votes cast at the meeting. In order to have a suitable record 
of the vote, the voting at the meeting should be by written ballot 
as well.
     The board of directors shall, within 10 days, certify 
the results of the membership

[[Page 88449]]

vote to the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access 
Director. The statement shall be verified by affidavits of the Chief 
Executive Officer and the Recording Officer on NCUA 4505.

III.F--Compliance With State Laws

    If the proposal for conversion is approved by a majority of all 
members who voted, the board of directors will:
     Ensure that all requirements of state law and the state 
regulator have been accommodated;
     Ensure that the state charter or the license has been 
received within 90 days from the date the members approved the 
proposal to convert; and
     Ensure that the Office of Consumer Financial Protection 
and Access Director is kept informed as to progress toward 
conversion and of any material delay or of substantial difficulties 
which may be encountered.
    If the conversion cannot be completed within the 90-day period, 
the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director 
should be informed of the reasons for the delay. The Office of 
Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director may set a new date 
for the conversion to be completed.

III.G--Completion of Conversion

    In order for the conversion to be completed, the following steps 
are necessary:
     The board of directors will submit a copy of the state 
charter to the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access 
Director within 10 days of its receipt. This will be accompanied by 
the federal charter and the federal insurance certificate. A copy of 
the financial reports as of the preceding month-end should be 
submitted at this time.
     The Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access 
Director will notify the credit union and the state regulator in 
writing of the receipt of evidence that the credit union has been 
authorized to operate as a state credit union.
     The credit union shall cease to be a federal credit 
union as of the effective date of the state charter.
     If the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and 
Access Director finds a material deviation from the provisions that 
would invalidate any steps taken in the conversion, the credit union 
and the state regulator shall be promptly notified in writing. This 
notice may be either before or after the copy of the state charter 
is filed with the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access 
Director. The notice will inform the credit union as to the nature 
of the adverse findings. The conversion will not be effective and 
completed until the improper actions and steps have been corrected.
     Upon ceasing to be a federal credit union, the credit 
union shall no longer be subject to any of the provisions of the 
Federal Credit Union Act, except as may apply if federal share 
insurance coverage is continued. The successor state credit union 
shall be immediately vested with all of the assets and shall 
continue to be responsible for all of the obligations of the federal 
credit union to the same extent as though the conversion had not 
taken place. Operation of the credit union from this point will be 
in accordance with the requirements of state law and the state 
regulator.
     If the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and 
Access Director is satisfied that the conversion has been 
accomplished in accordance with the approved proposal, the federal 
charter will be canceled.
     There is no federal requirement for closing the records 
of the federal credit union at the time of conversion or for the 
manner in which the records shall be maintained thereafter. The 
converting credit union is advised to contact the state regulator 
for applicable state requirements.
     The credit union shall neither use the words ``Federal 
Credit Union'' in its name nor represent itself in any manner as 
being a federal credit union.
     Changing of the credit union's name on all signage, 
records, accounts, investments, and other documents should be 
accomplished as soon as possible after conversion. Unless it 
violates state law, the credit union has 180 days from the effective 
date of the conversion to change its signage and promotional 
material. This requires the credit union to discontinue using any 
remaining stock of ``federal credit union'' stationery immediately, 
and discontinue using credit cards, ATM cards, etc., within 180 days 
after the effective date of the conversion, or the reissue date, 
whichever is later. The Office of Consumer Financial Protection and 
Access Director has the discretion to extend the timeframe for an 
additional 180 days. Member share drafts with the federal chartered 
name can be used by the members until depleted. If the state credit 
union is not federally insured, it must change its name and must 
immediately cease using any credit union documents referencing 
federal insurance.
     If the state credit union is to be federally insured, 
the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access Director will 
issue a new insurance certificate.

APPENDIX 1 GLOSSARY

    These definitions apply only for use with this Manual. 
Definitions are not intended to be all inclusive or comprehensive. 
This Manual, the Federal Credit Union Act, and NCUA Rules and 
Regulations, as well as state laws, may be used for further 
reference.
    Adequately capitalized--A credit union is considered 
``adequately capitalized'' when it meets the ``adequately 
capitalized'' definition in Part 702 of NCUA's Rules and 
Regulations. A multiple common bond credit union must be 
``adequately capitalized'' in order to add new groups to its 
charter. The Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access 
director, with input from the appropriate regional director or 
Office of National Examinations and Supervision Director, may 
determine that a less than ``adequately capitalized'' credit union 
can qualify for an expansion if it is making reasonable progress 
toward becoming ``adequately capitalized,'' and the addition of the 
group would not adversely affect the credit union's capitalization 
level.
    Affinity--A relationship upon which a community charter is 
based. Acceptable affinities include living, working, worshiping, or 
attending school in a community.
    Appeal--The right of a credit union or charter applicant to 
request a formal review of the Office of Consumer Financial 
Protection and Access, regional director's or Office of National 
Examinations and Supervision Director's adverse decision by the 
National Credit Union Administration Board.
    Associational common bond--A common bond comprised of members 
and employees of a recognized association. It includes individuals 
(natural persons) and/or groups (non-natural persons) whose members 
participate in activities developing common loyalties, mutual 
benefits, and mutual interests.
    Business plan--Plan submitted by a charter applicant or existing 
federal credit union addressing the economic advisability of a 
proposed charter or field of membership addition.
    Charter--The document which authorizes a group to operate as a 
credit union and defines the fundamental limits of its operating 
authority, generally including the persons the credit union is 
permitted to accept for membership. Charters are issued by the 
National Credit Union Administration for federal credit unions and 
by the designated state chartering authority for credit unions 
organized under the laws of that state.
    Common bond--The characteristic or combination of 
characteristics which distinguishes a particular group of persons 
from the general public. There are two common bonds which can serve 
as a basis for a group forming a federal credit union or being 
included in an existing federal credit union's field of membership: 
Occupational--employment by the same company, related companies or 
in a trade, industry, or profession (TIP); and associational--
membership in the same association.
    Community credit union--A credit union whose field of membership 
consists of persons who live, work, worship, or attend school in the 
same well-defined local community, neighborhood, or rural district.
    Credit union--A member-owned, not-for-profit cooperative 
financial institution formed to permit those in the field of 
membership specified in the charter to save, borrow, and obtain 
related financial services.
    Economic advisability--An overall evaluation of the credit 
union's or charter applicant's ability to operate successfully.
    Emergency merger--Pursuant to Section 205(h) of the Federal 
Credit Union Act, authority of NCUA to merge two credit unions 
without regard to common bond policy.
    Exclusionary clause--A limitation, written in a credit union's 
charter, which precludes the credit union from serving a portion of 
a group which otherwise could be included in its field of 
membership.
    Federal share insurance--Insurance coverage provided by the 
National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund and administered by the 
National Credit Union Administration. Coverage is provided for 
qualified accounts in all federal credit unions and participating 
state credit unions.

[[Page 88450]]

    Field of membership--The persons (including organizations and 
other legal entities) a credit union is permitted to accept for 
membership.
    Household--Persons living in the same residence maintaining a 
single economic unit.
    Housekeeping Amendment--A field of membership amendment to 
delete groups, change group names, change group locations, remove 
exclusionary clauses, and to add other persons eligible for credit 
union membership by virtue of their close relationship to a common 
bond group or the community for community charters.
    Immediate family member--A spouse, child, sibling, parent, 
grandparent, or grandchild. This includes stepparents, stepchildren, 
stepsiblings, and adoptive relationships.
    In danger of insolvency--In making the determination that a 
particular credit union is in danger of insolvency, NCUA will 
establish that the credit union falls into one or more of the 
following categories:
    1. The credit union's net worth is declining at a rate that will 
render it insolvent within 24 months. In projecting future net 
worth, NCUA may rely on data in addition to Call Report data. The 
trend must be supported by at least 12 months of historic data.
    2. The credit union's net worth is declining at a rate that will 
take it under two percent (2%) net worth within 12 months. In 
projecting future net worth, NCUA may rely on data in addition to 
Call Report data. The trend must be supported by at least 12 months 
of historic data.
    3. The credit union's net worth, as self-reported on its Call 
Report, is significantly undercapitalized, and NCUA determines that 
there is no reasonable prospect of the credit union becoming 
adequately capitalized in the succeeding 36 months. In making its 
determination on the prospect of achieving adequate capitalization, 
NCUA will assume that, if adverse economic conditions are affecting 
the value of the credit union's assets and liabilities, including 
property values and loan delinquencies related to unemployment, 
these adverse conditions will not further deteriorate.
    Letter of Understanding and Agreement--Agreement between NCUA 
and federal credit union officials not to engage in certain 
activities and/or to establish reasonable operational goals. These 
are normally entered into with new charter applicants for a limited 
time.
    Mentor--An individual who provides guidance and assistance to 
newly chartered, small, or low-income credit unions. All new federal 
credit unions are encouraged to establish a mentor relationship with 
a trained, experienced credit union individual or an existing credit 
union.
    Metropolitan Statistical Area--The Office of Management and 
Budget defines a metropolitan statistical area as an urbanized area 
that has at least one urbanized area in excess of 50,000 and 
``comprises the central county or counties containing the core, plus 
adjacent outlying counties having a high degree of social and 
economic integration with the central county as measured through 
commuting.''
    Merger--Absorption by one credit union of all of the assets, 
liabilities and equity of another credit union. Mergers must be 
approved by the National Credit Union Administration and by the 
appropriate state regulator whenever a state credit union is 
involved.
    Multiple common bond credit union--A credit union whose field of 
membership consists of more than one group, each of which has a 
common bond of occupation or association.
    Occupational common bond--Employment by the same entity or 
related entities or a Trade, Industry, or Profession.
    Once a member, always a member--A provision of the Federal 
Credit Union Act which permits an individual to remain a member of 
the credit union until he or she chooses to withdraw or is expelled 
from the membership of the credit union. Under this provision, 
leaving a group that is named in the credit union's charter does not 
terminate an individual's membership in the credit union.
    Organizations of such persons--An organization or organizations 
composed exclusively of persons who are within the field of 
membership of the credit union.
    Overlap--The situation which results when a group is eligible 
for membership in more than one credit union.
    Primary potential members--Members or employees who belong to an 
associational or occupational group.
    Purchase and assumption--Purchase of all or part of the assets 
of and assumption of all or part of the liabilities of one credit 
union by another credit union. The purchased and assumed credit 
union must first be placed into involuntary liquidation.
    Service area--The area that can reasonably be served by the 
service facilities accessible to the groups within the field of 
membership.
    Service facility--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, a video teller machine 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 Web site. A service facility does not 
include an ATM or interest in a shared branch network for purposes 
of serving an underserved area.
    Single associational common bond credit union--A credit union 
whose field of membership includes members and employees of a 
recognized association.
    Single common bond credit union--A credit union whose field of 
membership consists of one group which has a common bond of 
occupation or association.
    Single occupational common bond credit union--A credit union 
whose field of membership consists of employees of the same entity 
or related entities or part of a Trade, Industry, or Profession 
(TIP).
    Spin-off--The transfer of a portion of the field of membership, 
assets, liabilities, shares, and capital of one credit union to a 
new or existing credit union.
    Subscribers--For a federal credit union, at least seven 
individuals who sign the charter application and pledge at least one 
share.
    Trade, Industry, or Profession (TIP)--A single occupational 
common bond credit union based on employment in a trade, industry, 
or profession including employment at any number of corporations or 
other legal entities that while not under common ownership--have a 
common bond by virtue of producing similar products, providing 
similar services, or participating in the same type of business.
    Underserved community--A local community, neighborhood, or rural 
district that is an ``investment area'' as defined in Section 
103(16) of the Community Development Banking and Financial 
Institutions Act of 1994. The area must also be underserved based on 
other NCUA and federal banking agency data.
    Unsafe or unsound practice--Any action, or lack of action, which 
would result in an abnormal risk or loss to the credit union, its 
members, or the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund.
BILLING CODE 7535-01-P

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[FR Doc. 2016-26956 Filed 12-6-16; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7535-01-C