WASHINGTON (1/26/10)--The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) has formed a pair of working groups to examine the National Credit Union Administration’s (NCUA) merger practices and recent proposals to alter charter application and field of membership expansion rules for community federal credit unions. The two working groups are still in the process of being assembled and will be comprised of members of existing CUNA committees or subcommittees. The NCUA’s field of membership proposal, which was released at the Dec. board meeting and is out for comment until March 1, would set objective and quantifiable criteria to determine the existence of a well-defined local community (WDLC) for areas that encompass multiple group areas. A new, objective definition for rural districts has also been proposed. The field of membership working group will examine proposed changes to how the NCUA defines the term community for multiple jurisdictional criteria and will also scrutinize the NCUA’s proposed redefinition of what constitutes a so-called “rural area.” The task force, composed of members of CUNA's Community Credit Union Committee and Federal Credit Union Subcommittee, will also review NCUA’s criteria for determining underserved areas. A number of credit unions have raised concerns about the regulatory process for voluntary and involuntary mergers, and the CUNA merger working group will examine those concerns and develop recommendations for improvements to those processes. The working group is drawn from CUNA's Examination and Supervision Subcommittee.The field of membership group will hold conference calls both later this month and in Feb. CUNA will accept credit union comment on the NCUA’s field of membership proposal until Feb. 10.