CU System Sees Major Victory as SCOTUS Denies ABA Appeal on FOM Rule

The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday denied an appeal from the American Bankers Association (ABA) to void NCUA’s field of membership (FOM) rule, a decision that marks the end of bankers’ nearly four-year battle to undo NCUA’s FOM rule finalized in October 2016. CCUA and CUNA have long supported the rule and NCUA’s authority to provide oversight for the credit union industry.

The ABA filed suit against NCUA two months after the rule was finalized in 2016. The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia overturned several parts of the rule in a March 2018 ruling, but nearly all portions of the rule were upheld in an August 2019 decision by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.  The August 2019 decision allows credit unions to serve Combined Statistical Areas of up to 2.5 million people and rural districts with up to one million people.   

Cooperative Credit Union Association President/CEO Ron McLean said, “The Supreme Court’s decision is a major victory for credit unions and will ensure consumers continue to have freedom of choice for their financial futures. Access to credit unions and their financial services will help to ensure financial equality for consumers everywhere.”

Following the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, National Credit Union Administration Chairman Rodney E. Hood issued a statement which read, “[The] decision by the Supreme Court ends nearly four years of uncertainty and will help the NCUA in its efforts to foster greater financial inclusion for all Americans. The NCUA will begin processing field-of-membership applications affected by this decision immediately.”