Tuesday, October 8, 2013

If You’re Reading This, You Can Join

SCE Federal Credit Union in Irwindale, California appears to be flaunting the requirements that federal credit unions have a common bond.

The credit union's website says:
“Is it easy to join the Credit Union?”

“If you’re reading this, you can join SCE FCU. You only need $15 to open your account ─ $5 goes into your savings and secures your ownership in the Credit Union, and the remaining $10 is a tax-deductible donation to our non-profit SCE FCU Foundation.”
Stating that if you’re reading this, you can join SEC FCU indicates this credit union is open to anyone.

This appears to violate the spirit of a letter that NCUA sent federal credit unions in September regarding impermissible common bond advertisement. NCUA wrote: “If your credit union is advertising that anyone, without limitation, is able to become a member of your credit union, then you may be in violation of federal law and regulation.”

Moreover, a $10 tax-deductible donation to the credit union’s foundation does not meet the requirement of having a common bond.

Click on image to enlarge.


  1. I get a Southern CA Edison bill to my home - might that relationship qualify me for membership? Can my movie ticket stub qualify me to join First Entertainment Credit Union? I got a parking ticket, does that qualify me to join Courts & Records CU?

    1. You must be an old-timer like me if you're still referring to Courts & Records, but it was a very funny comment. As a 30-year CU veteran, I actually agree with Leggett on this. It makes a joke of the field of membership system. We play it straight by the book on FOM with no games. I'm not against the live, work or pray FOM, but I am against donating $5 to some nonprofit to join a credit union. That's not in the spirit of our industry.



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