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ALEXANDRIA, Va.-NCUA recently wrote a legal opinion letter (05-1216) explaining the flexibility credit unions have in holding their board meetings and elections in response to a request from Louisiana Credit Union League CEO Anne Cochran. NCUA Associate General Counsel Sheila Albin noted that the standard federal credit union bylaws only require one in-person meeting of the board of directors per year. All others may be conducted via video or teleconference. Additionally, the one face-to-face meeting requires only a quorum of directors, not all of them. “Further, credit union boards may act without a meeting, if the vote is unanimous and each board member’s position is documented in writing or email,” the opinion read. The standard bylaws also permit temporary directors and supervisory and credit committee members to be appointed for those who may need to step aside. The credit union, Albin wrote, should follow normal procedures to notify members of meetings and elections at their last address of record. Members are responsible for notifying the credit union of address changes. Article V of the standard federal credit union bylaws provides four choices for conducting elections so a credit union’s board or management may choose a more convenient option and amend the credit union’s bylaws with a two-thirds vote by the board of directors. Federal credit unions could delay annual member meetings for a few months, Albin suggested, which is not prohibited. However, proxy voting is prohibited under the federal credit union bylaws. The legal opinion letter includes the relevant provisions from the bylaws and legal opinions. It is available at http://www.ncua.gov/Regulations OpinionsLaws/opinion_letters/opinion_letters.html.

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