The FAQ includes a discussion about when the Federal Reserve includes credit unions in the Herfindahl-Hirschman Index (HHI) calculation, which measures market concentration, and under what circumstances would a credit union receive a 100 percent weighting in the HHI calculation.
When are credit unions included in the HHI calculations?
If an application exceeds the delegation criteria in a given market in the initial screen, Board and Reserve Bank staff will consider whether any credit unions should be included in the structural concentration calculations, because they exert competitive pressure on banks in the market. Credit unions are typically included in these calculations if two conditions are met: (1) the field of membership includes all, or almost all, of the market population, and (2) the credit union's branches are easily accessible to the general public. In such instances, a credit union's deposits will be given 50 percent weight.
Under what circumstances would a credit union get 100 percent weight in the HHI calculation?
If a credit union has significant commercial lending and has staff available for small business services (special tellers, lending officers, business-only teller windows, etc.), then its deposits may be eligible for 100 percent weighting. To date, it has been very rare for a credit union's deposits to receive more than 50 percent weight.
Total C&I lending as a percentage of assets is an important factor in this consideration. The C&I lending of a credit union includes C&I loans, unsecured business loans, and unsecured revolving lines of credit for business purposes.
However, business loans secured by real estate and construction loans are not counted as C&I loans.
The FAQ also discusses the circumstances when the Justice Department's Antitrust Division (Division) includes credit unions in its analysis.
The Division may include the deposits of a credit union in the HHI analysis if the credit union meets certain criteria. Similar to the conditions set forth by the Federal Reserve, to be considered an active competitor in retail banking, a credit union must have a community-based field of membership, making it easily accessible to customers looking for banking alternatives in the market. For small business banking, the Division will evaluate factors similar to those considered in the analysis of thrifts to determine whether a credit union is an active competitor. Unlike thrifts, however, credit unions do not provide deposit data to the FDIC. Reliable branch-level data may not be readily available for HHI calculations. Therefore, in such cases, the presence of credit unions that meet these criteria will be considered a mitigating factor in evaluating the competitive effects of a transaction.
Read the FAQ.