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ICBA Urges NCUA to Follow Congressional Intent in Credit Union Law

Washington, D.C. (March 28, 2006) — The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) urged the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) to stick to the letter of the law and require credit unions that want to add underserved areas to their field of membership to have a "multiple-bond" charter and to ensure they serve areas where there is a concentration of people of modest means.

"We approve of the NCUA's proposal to limit the addition of new underserved areas to only multiple common bond credit unions," ICBA wrote in its March 28 comment letter to the NCUA. "In ICBA's opinion, this should have been done immediately following the enactment of the Credit Union Membership Access Act (CUMAA) in 1998."

ICBA also called for the NCUA to apply the new policy retroactively. "The statute is so clear on this issue and NCUA's interpretation of CUMAA is so wrong that the NCUA has an obligation to retroactively review all of the applications by non-multiple common bond credit unions to add underserved areas since CUMAA was enacted and revoke those agency approvals that violated CUMAA," ICBA said

ICBA urged the NCUA to go a step further in ensuring that credit unions meet the needs of underserved areas. "Before a multiple common bond credit union is allowed to expand into an underserved area, there should be some definite requirements imposed on that credit union to ensure that individuals of modest means in that underserved area will be fully served."

Read the full letter at www.icba.org.