On April 16th oral arguments took place before a three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit Court in the American Bankers Association’s ongoing legal challenge to the National Credit Union Administration’s field of membership (FOM) rule. During the hearing, the judges considered NCUA’s appeal of District Court Judge Dabney Friedrich’s ruling overturning the provisions of the agency’s rule related to combined statistical areas and rural districts. Meanwhile, the Court also considered ABA’s cross-appeal on those portions of Friedrich’s opinion upholding the provision of the rule permitting credit unions to serve core-based statistical areas without serving the urban core that defines the area.
CUNA, which was present at this hearing, has continuously supported NCUA’s appeal and further believes the court erred in its finding that the agency overstepped its statutory authority with regard to the combined statistical area approach and the definition of rural district. CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle previously noted that the “ABA’s appeal of the decision only continues a long line of trite attacks against credit unions by banks who make every attempt to limit Americans’ access to credit unions.”
NCUA finalized its FOM modernization rule in October 2016. The American Bankers Association sued the agency over the rule in December 2016. At present, it is unclear when the panel will issue a decision on the appeals. But what is clear is that this legal battle will continue – keep this on your radar.