ALEXANDRIA, Va.-Centris Federal Credit Union of Omaha, Neb. recently asked NCUA whether a member, employed by the Farm Credit Services of America, an agricultural cooperative bank, is eligible for a board seat. The Depository Institution Management Interlocks Act prohibits individuals from serving simultaneously as a management official for two, unaffiliated depository institutions, but NCUA’s regulation only applies to federally insured credit unions. The Farm Credit Administration, which regulates the bank, is not one of the regulators charged with carrying out the Interlocks Act, NCUA Associate General Counsel Sheila Albin pointed out in a legal opinion letter (04-0135). “Although we do not believe any rule administered by NCUA applies in this case, the employee may be prohibited from serving on your board by a rule administered by the Farm Credit Administration (FCA),” she wrote. “The rules prohibit any employee of a Farm Credit System institution from serving as an officer or director of any commercial bank, savings and loan or other financial institution (excluding an “employee credit union”) that is not part of the Farm Credit System,” Albin explained. As a community charter, Centris does not specifically serve the FCSA employees and therefore may not count as an “employee credit union.” Albin suggested clarification be requested from FCA.

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