The NCUA has recently reaffirmed that the American Consumer Council (ACC) is compliant with the associational common bond requirements. This is good news for savers. It means that the NCUA will continue to allow ACC membership to be in the fields of membership (FOMs) of several federal credit unions. Anyone can join the ACC, and thus, this makes it possible for any person in the U.S. to join many of these credit unions.
Here’s an excerpt from the ACC press release. The full press release is available at the ACC front page.
After a 15-month long quality review process, the National Credit Union Administration’s Office of Consumer Protection (NCUA-OCP) has reaffirmed that the American Consumer Council is compliant with the agency’s Totality of the Circumstances test and can continue to refer its members to federally chartered credit unions.
Just over a year ago I wrote about how the NCUA was cracking down on federal credit unions that were advertising that they were "open to anyone". Credit unions are suppose to have fields of membership (FOMs) that are limited to people with common bonds. Common bonds can be based on things like geography, employer and family. They can also be based on associations. However, the NCUA has rules about associational common bonds. These rules were described its 2013 letter to federal credit unions. They’re intended to ensure the association is legitimate and not just an association created by the credit union to make it easy for anyone to join.
According to the ACC press release, it currently partners with 45 credit unions. ACC maintains a list of these credit unions on its Credit Union Affiliates page. If you join ACC, you should be able to qualify for membership in most of these credit unions. There are a few exceptions. One is the Police and Fire Federal Credit Union in Philadelphia which only allows ACC members to join if they are residents of Pennsylvania, New Jersey or Delaware. Thus, not all of these credit unions are listed in my big list of credit unions open to anyone.
I’m very glad to see the NCUA certifying the ACC. I had worried that the NCUA would be considering the ACC associational bond a violation of their common bond rules. That would have given savers fewer choices. With this certification, we’ll have more credit unions to choose from, and that will help us get the best bank deals. In addition to the 45 credit unions that currently have ACC in their FOMs, the press release stated that there are 18 to 20 credit unions awaiting action from the NCUA to add ACC as an associational common bond. With this certification, there are expectations that the NCUA will finally act swiftly on these.
Thanks to DA member cumulus who posted this news in the forum, and thanks to other DA readers who emailed me news of this.