WASHINGTON (2/5/08)—The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) is launching an all-out press to encourage credit unions to comment on a National Credit Union Administration initiative to more clearly define a credit union board's fiduciary duties in the face of major decisions, such as mergers or conversions to mutual thrifts. The NCUA is asking credit unions whether it should develop new regulations that would address situations in which a federally insured credit union merges or converts to another type of financial institution, other than a mutual savings bank. The agency is also asking for comments on whether it should amend its current rules on mergers, charters conversions and changes in account insurance. The requests for comments were issued in the form of an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) at the Jan. 24 open NCUA board meeting. Mary Dunn, CUNA SVP and deputy general counsel, said Monday, “The NCUA is asking for a whole new layer of regulation for credit unions. We want to make sure the agency receives appropriate comment on every element of their ANPR as they seek comment.” Dunn said CUNA’s efforts prior to forming its comment will be multi-pronged. CUNA will initiate its Operation Comment, which enables a credit union to submit its comment both to NCUA and CUNA simultaneously through the CUNA website. It will be briefing its Federal CU Subcommittee and its Examination and Supervision Subcommittee, Community CU Committee, and the CUNA Councils on the issues involved. CUNA also will be working with its Governmental Affairs Committee during its Governmental Affairs Conference in Washington March 2-6. According to NCUA, the agency is looking for ways to protect the interests of members when their credit union is considering transactions that would significantly affect members’ rights, such as a change in the ownership of the credit union, termination of a credit union’s charter or its federal share insurance. More specifically, NCUA is focusing on six types of transactions:
* A merger of a federally insured credit union (FICU) into another FICU; * A merger of a FICU into a privately insured credit union (PICU); * A conversion of a federally insured state credit union (FISCU) into a PICU; * A merger of a FICU into a financial institution other than a mutual savings bank; and * A conversion of a FICU into a financial institution other than an MSB.
Comments are due tot the NCUA March 31.