updated 12/16/13 10:57 AM
CDAs and Home-Based FCUs
The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) board approved a final rule that will allow federal credit unions to fund charitable donation accounts (CDAs)—hybrid charitable and investment vehicles. The NCUA’s stated purpose of permitting federal credit unions to fund CDAs as an incidental power is to help facilitate those credit unions’ charitable activities.
The California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues strongly supported this proposal and provided comments that would benefit credit unions interested in supporting charitable activities while still considering NCUA’s safety and soundness interests.
The final rule permits federal credit unions to invest in accounts that are otherwise impermissible if at least 51 percent of the return on assets goes to charity. Any investment feature benefitting the federal credit union must be incidental to that charitable purpose.
The rule defines how the accounts must be structured, the maximum investment limit (5 percent of net worth over the life of the account), how frequently distributions must be made to the charitable organization (at least every 5 years and when the account terminates), and required account documentation, including board policies.
Included in the final rule is a regulatory oversight requirement that when a federal credit union establishes a CDA using a trust vehicle, the trustee must be regulated by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), or another federal or state financial regulatory agency. A regulated trustee or other person or entity that is authorized to make investment decisions for a CDA (manager), other than the federal credit union itself, must either be a registered investment advisor (RIA) with the SEC or be regulated by the OCC.
These trustee requirements are an improvement over the proposed rule, which did not include state financial regulatory agencies and would have required all trustees to be SEC RIAs.
The Leagues’ Research and Information team will issue a TIPs Bulletin (Technical Information and Procedures) with all the details of the final rule soon.
FCU Examination Sites and Home-Based FCU Proposals
The NCUA issued a proposed rule directed at home-based federal credit unions. The proposed rule would, within 30 calendar days of the final rule, prohibit federal credit union exams and other contact with NCUA staff from occurring at a private residence and require federal credit unions to establish a dedicated phone line and/or email address for contact with NCUA and members.
The proposal would also require home-based federal credit unions, within two years of the final rule, to obtain and maintain a business office not located in a private residence and prohibit the storage of federal credit union records at residential locations.
The rule would only apply to home-based federal credit unions, of which NCUA approximates there are 79, ranging in asset size from $34,000 to $12 million. As proposed, the rule would not apply to an additional 14 federally insured state-chartered credit unions.
The NCUA will accept comments on the proposal for 30 days from the date it is posted in the Federal Register. The Leagues will review the proposed rule closely and provide comments to the NCUA. The proposed rule and the Leagues’ summary will be available in PowerComment soon, which gives you the tools you need to review the proposal and submit your comments directly to the NCUA.
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