LICU Extension, Ohio Community Charter Get NCUA Board Nod: Onsite Coverage
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz and Board Member Michael Fryzel stuck to a controversy-free agenda Thursday morning during the agency’s October board meeting, approving financial statements and a new community charter and proposing an extension of its August low-income credit union offer from 30 to 90 days.
Because the board’s third seat is empty, following former Board Member Gigi Hyland’s departure Oct. 5, the Democrat Matz and Republican Fryzel are forced to unanimously agree on any proposed rules or actions until a replacement is appointed and confirmed by the Senate.
The 20-minute meeting produced no surprises, with the most far-reaching decision being a proposed rule to extend the time allowed to accept a fast track to low-income designation that was offered to 1,003 credit unions in August. To date, 676 credit unions have accepted the offer, the NCUA said Thursday in a release.
The agency must wait 30 days after the proposed rule is published in the Federal Register to allow for public comment before voting on the final rule.
Matz said the move to extend was prompted by feedback from credit unions that reported they needed more time to contemplate the offer and meet with volunteers than the original 30-day window allowed.
Matz and Fryzel also voted unanimously to approve a bid by the $379 million BMI Federal Credit Union to convert from a multiple-SEG charter to a community charter. Because the Columbus, Ohio-based credit union’s new community charter would include more than 1 million people, it required board approval.
Matz said she was impressed by the credit union’s commitment to serving the entire Columbus community, specifically its convenient locations, financial literacy program, payday loan program and a nearly 50% increase in its marketing budget.
Consumer Access Analyst Annette Moore told the board BMI has budgeted $357,000 for marketing in the first year, which represents a 35% increase over its current budget, and $407,000 for marketing in the second year serving the community, a 14% increase.
The 27,458-member credit union will serve an eight-county area with five centrally-located full-service facilities, Moore said, along with 50 shared branching locations and CO-OP ATMs. Thirty percent of the area’s residents live in low-income areas, which the credit union will serve with free checking accounts and other free transactional services, she added.
Board Member Michael Fryzel questioned Office of Consumer Protection Director Kent Buckham about the fate of nine SEGs the credit union currently serves that aren’t located in the new geographical area. Buckham said existing members can retain their accounts, but no new members can join from the companies. However, Buckham reassured Fryzel other credit unions would be able to provide services to the groups.
Fryzel asked Buckham to provide a report in one year showing how well BMI has made use of the conversion.
The board also approved the NCUSIF and corporate stabilization financial reports, which included a $792 million increase in revenue due to the September billing of the corporate assessment to federally insured credit unions.