Leaders of Har-co Federal Credit Union told its members that the CU needed to convert to a federal thrift charter in order to serve more people, but the NCUA has no record of the CU ever applying for a community charter.
Adopting community charters and adding underserved areas have become ways credit unions have sought to expand their fields of membership as credit unions.
The agency's records also showed that the last time Har-co applied to add a group to its field of membership was nine years ago, in 2002.
"Har-co intends to increase membership and economies of scale to better meet the current and future needs of our members," reads the Board of Directors notice to members about the proposed charter change. "Our long trusted brand and countywide branches would be, as a bank, open to any citizen, eliminating the restrictions on banking with Har-co. Har-co would be allowed to offer loan and deposit services to anyone, something it cannot currently do as a credit union."
"We have no record of Har-co Maryland Federal Credit Union #10374 applying to convert to a community charter or pursuing other types of expansion, such as adding an underserved area," said John McKechnie, NCUA's outgoing director of public and congressional affairs. "Har-co has not filed any requests to add an additional group since 2002."
The credit union's leadership has not yet returned calls about its possible charter change.