Credit Union Group Considers Extending Member Rights to New Base

The National Association of Federal Credit Unions, which began allowing state-chartered members into the group last year, now wants to extend full membership to them. The shift, which is subject to a vote of NAFCU members, comes at a time of transition in the credit union space.

An ongoing attempt by the National Association of Federal Credit Unions to integrate a new group of members just turned another corner.

This week, NAFCU’s board announced it had approved a change to its Articles of Incorporation, granting full membership to state-chartered credit unions, as long as they’re federally insured. The move comes approximately a year after the group first announced its intention to admit such credit unions as members.

The amendment, which has to be approved by NAFCU’s full membership, would put state-chartered credit unions on equal footing with federal credit unions, including allowing representatives to run for board positions.

“This announcement is a natural evolution of NAFCU’s mission and supports our goal to help all federally insured credit unions with federal issues by becoming a stronger, more impactful organization,” NAFCU Board Chairman Richard L. Harris said in news release. “This unanimous decision included enthusiastic support from our board and staff. NAFCU will remain focused on representing our members at the federal level.”

The association’s members will vote on the change over the next month.

Associations Turn Competitors

NAFCU’s move, Credit Union Times notes, comes at a time of major change in the association space dedicated to credit unions.

The most significant shift came earlier this year, when members of the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) voted to change its membership structure, which previously required members to join both CUNA and an affiliated league. While CUNA’s board preferred the existing structure, members ultimately voted in favor of a more open-ended model.

The NAFCU vote further positions the group as a competitor to CUNA. Dave Adams, the head of the Michigan Credit Union League, was among those who raised concerns about that.

“When you divide the industry with fractured, diverse messages, it affects your ability to be effective as an industry,” Adams told Credit Union Times.


Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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