ALEXANDRIA, Va.-NCUA's approval of a final rule this year regarding overseas branching passed the board unanimously with little change from their proposal. Under the rule, federal credit unions are required to outline a detailed business plan and receive approval from the host country to operate the branch. Though CUNA wanted NCUA to have to do the negotiations with the foreign country, Director of Examination and Insurance Dave Marquis pointed out that this is not permitted by law. CUNA said that a number of its members have said they are not on equal footing with the foreign government. The credit union must obtain a written acknowledgement by the host country of NCUA's authority over the branch, but the federal agency is not requiring exclusive authority. NCUA added that the credit union looking to build a branch on foreign soil must follow the local employment laws. Finally, federally insured state chartered credit unions must receive the approval of the state regulator and get final approval from NCUA. However, the state was given the authority to revoke a credit union's ability to operate a branch overseas without NCUA stepping in, but they must be notified. The journey of NCUA's long-awaited final rule on overseas branching began in September 2000 with an advance notice of proposed rulemaking. It was effective July 1, 2003.

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