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ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Those instances when banks and credit union can put aside their differences, meet in the middle and build connections are uncommon and kept relatively quiet, some would say.

That has certainly been the case in the loan participation arena. No one is quite sure how many arrangements are currently in place, but there are a few credit unions that have linked up with banks to buy and sell pieces of participation loans from each other. It’s permissible under NCUA’s rules and regulations for an FCU to “participate in making loans with eligible organizations,” which includes any federally chartered or federally insured financial institution, according to NCUA.

The caveat is the regulation limits participating FCU lenders that are not the originating lender to, among other things, participating only in “loans it is empowered to grant and loans to its own members or members of another participating credit union,” NCUA emphasized. Even if all legal requirements are met, loan participation programs are still subject to safety and soundness review by NCUA examiners.

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