WASHINGTON (2/28/08)--The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) is urging the National Credit Union Administration to move forward with field of membership improvements for community credit unions. The NCUA’s objectives to change chartering and field of membership (FOM) policies regarding community chartered credit unions are positive, but the current proposal needs some changes, the group said in a recent letter. The comment period ended in August and CUNA is encouraging NCUA not to let the goal of an improved process for community charters falter. The CUNA letter was a follow up to meetings with federal regulators on subjects of growing concern to credit unions, such as proposed field of membership (FOM) changes, as well as mergers and examination issues. (See related story, “CUNA-AACUL spotlight regulatory concerns") CUNA President/CEO Dan Mica wrote to the NCUA reiterating CUNA’s strong support of the agency’s June 2007 FOM proposal, while offering suggested improvements. CUNA supported proposed continuation of the NCUA's treatment of single political jurisdictions. CUNA said the process allows a community federal credit union (FCU) to apply for a single city, county or portion of either, under a streamlined procedure. It presupposes the area constitutes a well-defined local area. The letter also reiterated support of the NCUA's intent to establish a parallel presumption for multiple jurisdiction federal credit unions seeking community charters. The proposal would use a standard statistical definition of a "well-defined community" based on the "Core Based Statistical Area" (CBSA) as defined by the Office of Management and Budget. Among problems with the agency plan, the letter noted that credit unions would like to see modifications in a notice and comment process proposed by the agency, and streamlined documentation requirements to add underserved areas. Also, the letter suggested that the NCUA's plan to request comment on issues relating to mergers involving community credit unions should be broken out of the field of membership proposal and looked at separately.