Gloves Come Off in Legal Arguments Against Charter Change Group
RICHMOND, Va. -- CUNA and NAFCU didn't pull any punches in their legal argument supporting NCUA in its fight with the Coalition for Credit Union Charter Options.
The CCUCO is appealing a previous federal district court ruling that threw out its legal effort to erase the NCUA's regulations governing the credit union to bank charter conversion process.
In their brief supporting the agency, the associations suggested that CCUCO's reluctance to disclose the names of its members left it open to doubt about the honesty of its declarations to the court.
"The coalition's silence concerning its membership, and its failure to disclose its ties to the banking industry suggest the possibility that the coalition is not acting as a representative of its alleged credit union members but rather is a stalking horse for members of the thrift banking and mutual savings bank conversion industries that seek to encourage credit unions to convert to bank," the associations wrote in their filing.
In footnotes to the brief. the associations noted that the coalition's previous testimony before Congress had admitted that its members included former credit unions that have become banks and noted as well that its arguments against NCUA's regulations closely mirror those offered by banking associations.
The brief supported the lower court's ruling and offered two other observations. First, that the coalition had completely failed to suggest or demonstrate that it is a traditional membership organization or its functional equivalent capable of asserting associational standing on behalf of a defined membership of credit unions.
Second, the coalition failed to allege an injury that was "concrete and particularized" in its original complaint because it failed to identify at least one of its members that allegedly sustained injury or was in immediate danger of injury. It also failed to provide the court with specific factual information concerning that member explaining how the challenged regulation caused or will cause injury.
The association's argument also pointed out that while the coalition claimed to be legally organized under the laws of the District of Columbia, it has not apparently filed legal notice of organization with the government.
"It does not appear to be organized as a not-for-profit corporation or other formal legal entity, however, and it is unclear in what form it was allegedly organized under D.C. law. The declaration of its director
sheds no further light on this question, other than to indicate that the Coalition was formed in 2004," the association noted.
"The coalition's silence on the subject of its membership has been consistent and complete," the associations concluded. "Even in its corporate disclosure statement to this court, the coalition failed to identify any of its members as required by Local Rule 26.1. The only inference that can be drawn from this silence is that the coalition in fact has no true member credit unions that have suffered or were threatened with injury as a result of the NCUA conversion regulation.
As a result, the complaint was properly dismissed for lack of standing."