NCUA Spells Out Method for Collecting Membership Data
The agency will use geo-coding software to generate a membership income profile. The software will determine the census tract for each member account, extract median family income information from the U.S. Census Bureau and create individual FCU membership profiles.
It is implementing a rules change approved by the board last May as a way to attain additional data after criticisms from some in Congress that credit unions weren't doing enough to serve underserved areas. The NCUA created the outreach task force to come up with proposals for ensuring that credit unions serve underserved areas and the data collection was one of its key recommendations.
To protect the data, the NCUA noted that its examiners' computers are password protected and the examination data is encrypted. After the examination, the examiner destroys loan and share data downloads. While the reports may contain member data, they are considered confidential and exempt from public disclosure.
Much of the data is already collected by those credit unions, but the NCUA would now be in a position to compile and analyze the data and use it when making determinations about issues such as the charter status of individual credit unions.
The NCUA plans to publish aggregate data once it builds a complete database from all federal credit unions.
Moisette I. Green, an NCUA lawyer who worked on the task force report, told the board when it approved the plan that the data "will facilitate outreach efforts,'' and there will be little additional burden on individual federal credit unions.