WASHINGTON-CUNA’s Renaissance Commission has been hard at work gathering information and suggestions from the credit union community as to where they would like credit unions to go. The 96 suggestions are awaiting action from the CUNA Board this fall. Here’s what they came up with: Field of Membership (FOM) Issues * credit unions define own FOM * mix community, occupational, and associational charters * eliminate presumption group over 3,000 should form own credit union * permit single sponsor credit union to always be able to serve spin off groups * leave it to credit union to define “family,” “household” * restore total voluntary merger authority * allow community credit unions to serve select groups * at least permit credit unions to serve previously served groups outside community * eliminate “reasonable proximity” * at least expand the “reasonable proximity” definition to include service centers as well * eliminate “well-defined, local test” for community credit unions; and * simplify chartering process CU Governance * allow credit unions to decide how and when to expel members * increase borrowing threshold for volunteers before board has to approve the loan * create legislation to protect volunteers from liability * provide greater flexibility in reimbursing volunteers for direct expenses * permit quarterly meetings of credit union boards, rather than monthly * allow credit union to determine board member term limits NCUA Board Operations * permit more than one board member with credit union experience * require all board members have financial experience * create a separate board for the insurance fund, including the NCUA board and two state regulators * clarify through laws that credit unions’ mission is to serve all consumers * require more accountability in NCUA’s budget Regulatory Process and Procedures * increase use of advance notices of proposed rulemaking * focus regulatory action on material issues * eliminate regulatory and examination practices that do not deal with safety and soundness or legal compliance * provide general regulatory relief * simplify adoption of nonstandard bylaws * allow more flexibility for larger credit unions to help smaller credit unions * exempt credit union from the Hart-Scott-Rodino pre-merger notification requirements * subject voting in credit union-to-bank conversions to the same level of supervisory authority review as federal-to-state or vice versa * allow credit unions to provide technical assistance to all credit unions abroad * require NCUA to work in cooperation with state credit union regulators Share Insurance Coverage * seek parity with change in FDIC coverage * if there is no change in FDIC coverage, then increase retirement savings coverage * permit private insurance alternatives Examination and Supervision * limit NCUA examinations to safety and soundness only * eliminate the Community Action Plan (CAP) * allow financial statements to be prepared on a quarterly basis * eliminate or revise prompt corrective action * increase asset size for quarterly call reports * increase federal agencies’ requirements to investigate fraud * insure cooperation between state regulators and NCUA in examination and supervision Capital * allow the credit union board to determine what kind and how much capital it can raise and count as alternative capital, so long as insurance fund is protected * permit use of uninsured shares as alternate capital * authorize credit unions to issue subordinated debt instruments to members or nonmembers as alternate capital Business Lending * eliminate or at least raise commercial lending cap * increase the $50,000 threshold for classifying a loan as commercial * liberalize appraisal requirements on commercial loans * liberalize specific staffing requirements * expand limits on loans for construction and development * liberalize collateral requirements * liberalize limits on commercial loans to one member or a group of members * eliminate the requirement that all owners of a business must be members * eliminate the requirement that all principals must provide their personal liabilities and guarantees on business loans * if general relief of business lending is not possible, seek relief for agricultural and faith-based lending * permit unsecured residential construction loans General Lending * eliminate the 12-year maturity on loans * eliminate or increase the dollar threshold when an appraisal is required * eliminate the requirement that credit unions must maintain a participation interest of at least 10% of the loan * allow corporate credit unions to participate in and/or syndicate loans to CUSOs * increase/eliminate the 1% of assets limitation on a credit union’s loans to CUSOs * eliminate the maximum maturity on second mortgages and mobile homes * eliminate the current restriction on mortgages to “principal dwelling or future principle dwelling” * raise or eliminate the 5% of paid-in capital and surplus limit on aggregate eligible obligations purchased * eliminate, or at least raise the loan rate ceiling * permit credit union to determine how/if/to whom denied loans will be appealed within the credit union Shares and Deposit Authority * liberalize or eliminate restrictions on taking public unit deposits * allow all credit unions to hold nonmember deposits Investments * increase or eliminate the 5% limit on fixed assets * permit investment in asset-backed securities * permit investments in equity securities * permit credit unions to treat loan participations as either loans or investments * increase or eliminate the 1% of assets limitation on a credit union’s investment in CUSOs * allow credit unions to invest in shares and stock of other financial institutions * permit investments in corporate debt securities * permit investments in non-agency mortgage-backed securities * expand the types of derivatives credit unions can invest in * permit investments in real estate investment trusts New Products and Services * permit full-service trust departments * allow credit unions to offer brokerage/securities/investment advisory services * allow credit unions to sell insurance products above cost * permit credit unions to provide services to another credit union and its members without forming a CUSO * allow credit unions to serve as custodians for state-sponsored savings programs * provide credit unions flexibility to establish operations and provide services outside the U.S. * create a “wild card” for federal credit unions * create a “wild card” for state chartered credit unions * create a “parity” provision for credit unions to give federally insured credit unions the authorities to offer any consumer financial services given to other federally insured financial institutions * permit credit unions to manage, develop, sell or lease real estate and fixed assets they may acquire as a result of loan foreclosures or by exercising their incidental powers * permit credit unions to offer nonfinancial services, such as phone cards * give credit unions same powers as CUSOs * permit credit unions to hire a broker to sell automobiles
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