ICBA, State Associations File Briefs in Support of ABA Litigation

The Independent Community Bankers of America and 51 state bankers associations have filed friend-of-the-court briefs in support of the American Bankers Association’s lawsuit challenging the National Credit Union Administration’s expansive field of membership final rule. Both briefs support ABA’s motion for summary judgment in the case, which takes on NCUA’s expansion of community-based credit union fields of membership far beyond the limitations imposed by Congress.

The state association brief argues that the final rule’s definition of “well-defined neighborhood, community or rural district” to include large regions encompassing multiple metro areas stretches well beyond the authority of the NCUA board. It also points out that the final rule will have a substantial adverse effect on community banks, which compete with tax-subsidized credit unions, and that the way the final rule allows credit unions to serve parts of Core-Based Statistical Areas without serving the urban core that defines the area goes against congressional intent.

Making similar arguments, the ICBA brief emphasizes that NCUA’s actions are based on an “impermissible and arbitrary construction” of the Federal Credit Union Act and that the agency’s “deliberate departure from its statutory restraints” is part of an agenda to expand the credit union industry without regard for congressional limitations.

ABA filed for summary judgment in the case last week and is seeking a declaration that the rule exceeded the agency’s statutory authority and is arbitrary and capricious, as well as an injunction prohibiting any community charter expansions pursuant to the challenged portions of the rule. For more information, contact ABA’s Sabrina Bergen.