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Internet not a service facility NCUA
WASHINGTON (1/30/09)—The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) reiterated its stance that a credit union’s Web site does not qualify as a service facility under the agency’s chartering and field of membership requirements. If formation of a separate credit union is not practical, a multiple common bond credit union may add a new group to its field of membership if it shows the NCUA it is “within reasonable proximity to the location of the group.” The group would have to be within “reasonable proximity” of a service facility of the credit union. A service facility can be a credit union-owned branch, ATM, or mobile branch, among other things. It cannot, said the NCUA, be a Web site. “A credit union’s Internet website lacks a physical presence so cannot meet the statutory requirements to be within reasonable proximity of the groups,” the agency said in a Jan. 12 legal opinion letter. The observation was made by NCUA General Counsel Robert Fenner in response to a letter from Ronald L. Burniske, President/CEO, Chartway FCU, Virginia Beach, Va. Burniske had requested the agency consider modifying NCUA regulations to include internet banking services within the definition of a service facility in this instance.
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