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ALEXANDRIA, Va. – NCUA Chairman JoAnn Johnson briefed Senator Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii) recently on the agency’s recent change in field of membership policy it felt forced into by a banker lawsuit.

Johnson outlined NCUA’s new field of membership rule, which only permits multiple common bond credit unions to adopt low-income communities. The agency had to reconsider its previous field of membership policy that permitted all types of credit unions to adopt underserved areas after the American Bankers Association brought a lawsuit in Utah challenging NCUA’s approval of America First Federal Credit Union, a community chartered credit union, to add an underserved area. The credit union community has generally said that the legislative language was meant to enable multiple common bond credit unions to adopt underserved areas as they were new at the time and not to exclude the other types; legislative history indicates this, but not the law.

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