WASHINGTON—Dozens of banking groups have filed a joint amicus brief to support the American Bankers Association's appeal of the lower-court decision in a
lawsuit challenging the NCUA's field of membership rule.
In the amicus, the groups argue that the FOM rule gives credit unions an unfair competitive advantage. As CUToday.info reported here, the Independent Community Bankers of America has also filed a brief arguing the new NCUA rule allows credit unions to abandon “urban cores.”
As CUToday.info reported, in December, NCUA filed its brief for the appeal of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit decision in ABA lawsuit. The lower court upheld two challenged portions of NCUA's FOM rule and struck down two provisions in the lawsuit filed against the agency.
After the NCUA's brief was submitted, NAFCU, CUNA and CUNA Mutual Group jointly filed an amicus brief in support of the agency's appeal, arguing that "this lawsuit is a clear and transparent attempt by bank lobbyists to hamstring credit unions' ability to help more American consumers."
What Court Ruled
As a result of the ABA lawsuit, the provisions declared to exceed the NCUA's statutory authority include those that automatically qualify a combined statistical area with fewer than 2.5 million people to be a local community and the increase to one million people the population limit for rural districts. The court's decision led 43 credit unions to revert to their new FOM charters, noted NAFCU, which maintains that FOM reforms are well within the NCUA's legal authority.
“NAFCU continues to stand behind the NCUA's decision to issue the rule, which was the first meaningful update to the agency's FOM rules over the past decade,” the trade association stated.