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«Last Updated: February 2014 1 Table of Contents Credit Union Charter Conversions – Federal to State I. The dual chartering system II. Overview of ...»

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Converting Your Credit Union from a Federal to

State Charter

Division of Credit Unions

Post Office Box 41200

Olympia, Washington 98504-1200

Phone (360) 902-8701

Fax (877) 330-6870

Email: DCU@dfi.wa.gov


Last Updated: February 2014


Table of Contents

Credit Union Charter Conversions – Federal to State

I. The dual chartering system

II. Overview of the Washington State charter for credit unions

III. Advantages and disadvantages of a state charter

IV. The charter conversion process

V. NCUA Region V contact

NCUA Rules Applicable To Federally-Insured, Washington State-chartered Credit Unions

Division’s Explanatory Statement on Field of Membership

NCUA Rules & Regulations, Part 741 Requirements for Insurance


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The Federal Credit Union Act δ1771 Conversion from Federal to State Credit Union

How to Access The Federal Credit Union Act δ1771

NCUA Chartering & FOM Manual – Chpt. 4 Conversion from a Federal to State Charter

How to Access the NCUA Chartering & FOM Manual – Chpt. 4

NCUA Charter Conversion Forms Chartering & FOM Manual – Chpt. 4.............. 19 How to Access the NCUA Charter Conversion Forms

Articles of Conversion of an Out-of-state or Federal Credit Union to a Washington State- chartered Credit Union

2 Credit Union Charter Conversion - Federal to State I. The dual chartering system The dual chartering system offers credit unions a choice between a state and federal charter. The nature of the dual chartering system is that each system develops its own set of policies, creating a competitive tension between the two. There are many similarities and many differences between the policies of each. There are also distinct advantages and disadvantages to each, depending on the business strategy of the credit union. The beneficiaries of this scenario are the credit unions and their members.

II. Overview of the Washington State charter for credit unions

Regulators and share insurance Federally chartered credit unions are regulated by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), under the Federal Credit Union Act and NCUA rules. Their share accounts are insured by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF), which is administered by the NCUA.

Washington State-chartered credit unions are regulated primarily by the Division of Credit Unions (Division) of the Washington Department of Financial Institutions. Washington credit

unions are organized and regulated under:

1. The Washington State Credit Union Act, Chapter 31.12 of the Revised Code of Washington (RCW), and

2. The Division’s rules are set forth in the following Chapters of the Washington Administrative

Code (WAC):

a. Chapter 208-418: Fees Charged to Credit Unions and Related Parties;

b. Chapter 208-424; Regulatory Relief for Small Credit Unions;

c. Chapter 208-436: Supervisory Approval of Investment Practices d. Chapter 208-440: Credit Union Participation with Commercial Arrangements with Third Parties;

e. Chapter 208-444: Miscellaneous;

f. Chapter 208-460: Member Business Loans;

g. Chapter 208-472: Field of Membership Expansion; and h. Chapter 208-600: Other Real Estate Owned A copy of Chapter 31.12 and the Division’s rules (WAC) can be found on our website www.dfi.wa.gov/cu.

When a federally chartered credit union converts to Washington state charter, it must maintain its 3 share insurance with the NCUSIF, see RCW 31.12.408. Consequently, converted state credit unions are also regulated by the NCUA, through its insurance function. The NCUA’s “insurance” rules are set forth at Part 741 (12 C.F.R. Part 741). A copy of these rules can be found on the NCUA web site at www.ncua.gov. In part, these rules cross-reference to certain federal charter rules that state charters must also comply with. Toward the end of this document is a list of NCUA rules that apply to Washington state chartered credit unions. Federal credit unions considering charter conversion should review the NCUA insurance rules (Part 741), so they are aware of the NCUA rules that will apply to them as a state charter.

State chartered credit unions may offer share and deposit accounts, see RCW 31.12.402(1).

Examinations The Division and NCUA work cooperatively to examine and supervise state credit unions for safety and soundness and for compliance with federal consumer protection laws. In addition, the Division examines for compliance with state law.

The NCUA does not participate in every exam of a state credit union. Under our current

Program Plan with Region V of the NCUA (Region V), joint examinations are conducted:

1. On all state chartered credit unions with total assets over $250 million;

2. In frequently on state credit unions with total assets under $250 million that have a CAMEL rating of 1 and 2 and which there is no specific insurance risk factors;

3. On a case-by-case basis of state chartered credit unions under $250 million with a CAMEL rating of 3; and

3. Routinely on state credit unions under $250 million with CAMEL ratings of 4 or 5.

Credit unions are notified in advance whether their examination will be joint or not. Even on joint examinations, the Division’s examiner-in-charge meets with management and the Board of Directors, prepares the examination report and CAMEL rating, and forwards a copy of the report to the NCUA. Note: NCUA will present its own CAMEL rating on all joint examinations.

Information Systems and Technology (IS&T) Exams Credit unions must ensure that their use of information systems and technology (IS&T) is safe and sound. The Division performs IS&T examinations, which are typically performed during a regularly scheduled safety and soundness examination.

Funding and fees The Division is funded by fees paid by state credit unions and related parties. The fees go into a dedicated, non-appropriated (revolving) fund. No general fund revenues of the state are used to pay for the operation of the Division.

The Division relies primarily on the payment of quarterly asset assessments for its revenue.

Asset assessment billings are performed using an ACH format. The quarterly asset assessments 4 are done in January, April, July, and October. A converting federal credit union will pay a prorated quarterly asset assessment for the quarter in which it completes its conversion, see WAC 208-418-040(3).

Below are examples of the Division’s current asset assessments.

–  –  –

The Division also bills for certain incidental charges, including hourly fees for the review of certain application requests, and the pass-through of costs of examinations performed by third parties under personal service contracts. See WAC 208-418-070 for the particulars of our fee rule.

During any fiscal year (July 1 to June 30), the Division cannot increase its assessment and fee rates in excess of the “fiscal growth factor” for the year, without prior legislative approval.

Nonrefundable NCUA operating fee Federal credit unions pay an annual operating fee to the NCUA, payable early in the year. State credit unions do not pay such a fee to the NCUA. The NCUA may not refund operating fees paid by a federal credit union during the year of conversion.

Field of membership (FOM) Washington state credit unions enjoy a broader field of membership policy than federal charters.

See the Division’s explanatory statement on FOM, which is enclosed and the Division’s FOM application rules, Chapter 208-472 WAC.

Financial reporting State credit unions must continue to file financial reports on forms 5300, with the same frequency as federal credit unions, see NCUA Rules, Section 741.6 (12 C.F.R. Section 741.6).

State credit unions file the 5300 with the Division, which in turn validates and uploads it to the NCUA.

Organizational chart of the Division Please see our website for a listing of Division management personnel and their positions www.dfi.wa.gov/cu/dcucontacts.htm.

5 Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) The Division of Credit Unions is one of the four Divisions of the Washington Department of

Financial Institutions (Department). The four Divisions are as follows:

1. Division of Credit Unions regulates state chartered credit unions;

2. The Securities Division regulates securities offerings and issuers, securities brokerdealers and investment advisers, and franchises and other business opportunities;

3. The Division of Banks regulates state commercial banks and savings institutions, trust companies and trust departments, business development corporations, small business (7a) lenders and agencies of non-US banks; and

4. The Division of Consumer Services regulates consumer loan companies, loan originators, mortgage brokers, loan servicers, escrow agents and officers, check cashers and sellers, money transmitters and currency exchanges, and tax refund anticipation loan facilitators.

Taxes State and federal credit unions are non-profit entities under the Internal Revenue Code, and therefore are exempt from the payment of federal income taxes. However, state credit unions must file individual informational returns annually with the IRS on Form 990.

State and federal credit unions are exempt under Washington statute from the payment of state business and occupation taxes. See RCW 82.04.405.

Federal credit unions are exempt under federal law from the payment of state sales taxes.

However, state credit unions do not enjoy such an exemption, and therefore are liable for the payment of such taxes on their purchases.

III. Advantages and disadvantages of a state charter

Advantages – The following are the advantages of a Washington state chartered credit union:

• Local regulator operating smaller agency with statewide as opposed to nationwide outlook;

• Local legislature and legislators;

• More expansive set of state powers and authorities (such as field of membership);

• Ability to continue to exercise federal powers, through the state “parity provision” (RCW 31.12.404; and

• Opportunity to build consensus with Division on regulatory policy, such as modernization of Washington State Credit Union Act and Division rules.

Disadvantages – The following is a disadvantage of a Washington state chartered credit union:

• Additional cost of Washington sales tax on purchases.

IV. The charter conversion process Applicable statutes and rules - To convert to a WA state charter, a federal credit union must

comply with the following provisions:


1. RCW 31.12.467 – Merger or conversion of federal out-of-state, or foreign to a state credit union.

2. Section 125(a) of the Federal Credit Union Act (12 U.S.C. Section 1771(a)). Section 1771 of the Federal Credit Union Act is titled “Conversions from Federal to State Credit Union”. See instructions for accessing the Federal Credit Union Act on the NCUA website – www.ncua.gov.

3. NCUA Rules at Section 701.1 (12 C.F.R. Section 701.1). The title of this Section is “Federal Credit Union Chartering, Field of Membership Modifications and Conversions”.

See instructions for accessing the NCUA Rules on the NCUA web site – www.ncua.gov.

4. Chapter 4, NCUA Chartering & FOM Manual – use the URL below to go to the NCUA Chartering & FOM Manual http://www.ncua.gov/Legal/Documents/IRPS/IRPS2003-1.pdf Additionally, the conversion must be completed in accordance with any applicable provisions of the federal credit union’s charter and bylaws. The credit union may continue to use the same name, except for the word “federal”, see Chapter 4 of the NCUA Chartering & FOM Manual.

Field of membership (FOM) of the converted credit union The Washington State Credit Union Act includes a “parity provision,” RCW 31.12.404 that grants state credit unions all the powers and authorities conferred on federal credit unions as of December 31, 1993 or a subsequent date no later than July 22, 2001.

Generally, FOM expansions by federal credit unions approved by the NCUA after 1993 were based on powers and authorities existing on or before December 31, 1993. Accordingly, a converted credit union may keep the field of membership it had as a federal charter. In order to simplify conversions, we prefer not to address FOM expansion requests in the conversion process. Subsequent to the conversion, the state credit union may include additional groups in its FOM, in accordance with the Division’s rules set forth in Chapter 208-472 WAC.

Major conversion steps

The major steps for conversion are as follows:

The credit union’s Board adopts the conversion proposal (by at least a majority vote);


2. The credit union files an application to convert with the Division;

3. The credit union files an application to convert with the NCUA Region V;

4. The Division approves the application;

5. NCUA Region V approves the application;

6. The credit union distributes a notice of the meeting of members, including disclosures approved by the NCUA;

7. The members of the credit union approve the conversion (by at least a majority of those voting);

8. The credit union files the necessary documentation with the Division and NCUA Region V; and

9. The Division files the articles of conversion and the articles of incorporation with the Secretary of State to complete the conversion.

–  –  –

Time period for conversion In the absence of any unusual complications, a federal credit union can anticipate completion of its conversion within 90-120 days after filing the application.

Conversion forms

NCUA requires certain forms to be completed and filed for the conversion, including:

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