Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Transact In

In case you missed NCUA’s announcement on March 16th, it has approved the charter for a new low-income credit union – Inspire Community Development FCU. Regrettably, NCUA made a not-so-subtle change in its field of membership for community charters. Not only can this credit union serve people who live, work, worship, and attend school in the city of Battle Creek, but it also includes people who volunteer and transact in the city of Battle Creek.

According to NCUA’s field of membership manual, NCUA only “recognizes four types of affinity on which a community charter can be based – persons who live in, worship in, attend school in, or work in the community.” Neither “volunteer in” nor “transact in” is on the list.

While I have previously seen where NCUA has bent its rules on limited occasions by adding volunteer in as an affinity group, I’ve never seen “transact in” as an affinity group. So, now if you ever bought gas at a service station in Battle Creek, this qualifies you for membership in this credit union.

Give me a break! Purchasing a good or service from a business in Battle Creek does not qualify as an affinity group.

NCUA should have never permitted “transact in” to be an affinity group. But I guess being a rogue agency is part of NCUA’s culture. What’s the next new affinity group for a community charter – if you ever “drove through” a community?


  1. Scary, but I agree with you yet again Keith. I hate seeing credit unions get so far away from their affinity/seg roots. That's what makes us different!

  2. But who else is going to provide financial services to the people they're seeking out in this low-income area? The banks? Ha!
    And they may need to seek out those living outside the initial low-income community just to make the credit union profitable. Yes, credit unions needs SOME profit to function.



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