THANK YOU GOVERNOR CUOMO
And State Senator Griffo and Assemblywoman Robinson.
In the wee small hours of the morning the Governor officially signed legislation that gives state chartered credit unions greater flexibility in creating fields of membership. I’m not exaggerating when I say that this is the most significant piece of NYS legislation in at least the last fifteen years. It helps New York consumers by making it easier for them to join a credit union, it makes the atrophying state charter a viable option for credit unions and It helps out federally chartered institutions that benefit from a regulatory framework in which no single regulator has a monopoly. As the sponsor memo accompanying the bill explains ” A healthy dual chartering system and the ability for credit unions to reach as many New Yorkers in need of their products and services are essential elements toward their continued success.” Right now there are approximately 21 state charters
The legislation, (S 7112 Griffo, A 9408 Robinson) was vetoed last year and will be amended further in the coming months to address concerns raised by the Department of Financial Services. In its final form it allows state chartered credit unions to apply for Fields Of Membership(FOM) that combine the different FOM categories. For example a credit union composed of employees of the local library could apply to allow persons in the community in which the library is based to be credit union members. All FOMs will be subject to the approval of the DFS.
Contrary to the objections of our banking brethren the legislation doesn’t do away with traditional credit union membership requirements. No open charters are being created. Potential members will still have to belong to a category of persons a credit union is authorized to serve. However since state charters will now have more flexibility in designing their membership more consumers will have more flexibility to choose between financial institutions, As someone who believes that competition among financial institutions is the best consumer protection there is this legislation is a huge step in the right direction.
The bill takes effect in 90 days. Here is a link to the legislation.
No Fracturing in NY
New York State’s ban on high-powered hydraulic fracturing will stay in place after the state’s Acting Health Commissioner announced he was concerned by the health risks it posed. The DEC has already announced that it will defer to the commissioner’s findings, Fracturing involves shooting high volumes of water and chemicals into shale. The resulting cracks release natural gas deposits.
The Association has been following the issue closely because the leasing of mortgaged property for drilling raises concerns that should be addressed in mortgage documents and discussed with members. Remember if you provide mortgages in Pennsylvania you should already be addressing these issues.