Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed Senate amended (07/28/1998)

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

Title I: Credit Union Membership

Title II: Regulation of Credit Unions

Title III: Capitalization and Net Worth of Credit Unions

Title IV: Miscellaneous Provisions

Credit Union Membership Access Act - Title I: Credit Union Membership - Amends the Federal Credit Union Act (FCUA) to add multiple common bond credit unions to the current permissible categories of single common bond and community credit unions.

(Sec. 101) Grandfathers membership status for: (1) members of any existing credit union as of the date of enactment of this Act; and (2) members of any group which constituted a portion of Federal credit union membership as of the date of enactment of this Act.

Limits a multiple common-bond credit union group to less than 3,000 members, except for: (1) certain larger groups incapable of supporting and operating a single-group credit union; and (2) any group transferred in connection with a voluntary merger, having received conditional approval but not having consummated the merger before October 25, 1996, if such merger is consummated within 180 days after enactment of this Act.

Limits eligibility for additional membership to immediate family or household members.

(Sec. 102) Sets forth approval criteria for membership expansion of multiple common-bond credit unions.

(Sec. 103) Directs the National Credit Union Administration Board to prescribe regulations defining "well-defined local community, neighborhood, or rural district" for purposes of membership criteria.

Title II: Regulation of Credit Unions - Requires accounting principles for credit union financial statements to be uniform and consistent with generally accepted accounting principles, or with any no less stringent but more appropriate accounting principle the Board may prescribe. Exempts from this requirement any insured credit union with less than $10 million total assets, unless the Board or an appropriate State credit union supervisor makes it mandatory.

(Sec. 201) Requires each insured credit union with total assets of $500 million or more to have an annual independent audit. States that voluntary audits conducted through an independent auditor by certain credit unions with total assets of more than $10 million shall be performed consistent with the accountancy laws of the appropriate State or jurisdiction, including licensing requirements.

(Sec. 202) Authorizes conversion of an insured credit union to a mutual savings bank or savings association without prior Board approval, subject to specified requirements and the laws and regulations governing mutual savings banks and savings associations. Removes the converted credit union from FCUA coverage following such conversion. Delimits the compensation of senior management officials in connection with such conversion. Requires the Board to promulgate final charter conversion rules consistent with those promulgated by other financial regulators, and that are no more or less restrictive than by other financial institutions.

(Sec. 203) Restricts to specified net worth limits member business loans made by an insured credit union. Exempts from such limitations a credit union that: (1) is chartered for the purpose of making, or that has a history of primarily making, member business loans to its members; (2) serves predominantly low-income members; or (3) is a community development financial institution.

Mandates that existing member business loans which exceed such statutory limitation be reduced within three years to comply with this Act.

Instructs the Board to consult and seek to work cooperatively with State officials having jurisdiction over State-chartered insured credit unions.

Directs the Secretary of the Treasury (Secretary) to study and report to the Congress on specified aspects of member business lending by insured credit unions.

(Sec. 204) Revises Board membership criteria to require the President to consider appointing individuals especially qualified to serve by virtue of their background in a broad range of financial services, financial services regulation, or financial policy. Prohibits the appointment to the Board of more than one member from among individuals recently involved as a credit union committee member, director, officer, employee, or other institution-affiliated party.

(Sec. 205) States that any Board regulation to define or amend the definition of "immediate family or household," or of "well-defined local community, neighborhood, or rural district," shall be treated as a major rule for purposes of Federal administrative law.

Title III: Capitalization and Net Worth of Credit Unions - Instructs the Board to promulgate implementing regulations designed to: (1) take prompt corrective action to resolve the problems of insured credit unions in order to achieve the least possible long-term loss to the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund; (2) prescribe a system of such action that takes into account that credit unions are not-for-profit cooperatives that issue no capital stock, have boards of directors consisting primarily of volunteers, and must rely on retained earnings to build net worth; and (3) prescribe a separate prompt corrective action system for new credit unions.

(Sec. 301) Sets forth net worth categories for credit unions within the framework of prompt corrective action regulation. Mandates that such regulatory framework include: (1) risk-based net worth requirements for complex credit unions; (2) an earnings-retention requirement (0.4 percent of total assets) for credit unions that are not well-capitalized; (3) mandatory net worth restoration plans by undercapitalized insured credit unions; (4) restrictions on undercapitalized insured credit unions; and (5) specified actions addressing critically undercapitalized credit unions. Exempts corporate credit unions from the regulatory framework. Authorizes the Board to close a credit union for liquidation and appoint itself or another as liquidating agent upon its determination of significant or critical undercapitalization with no reasonable prospect of becoming adequately capitalized.

Requires the Board to explain specifically in its report to the Congress following promulgation of the implementing regulations: (1) how the regulations implement this Act with respect to the cooperative character of credit unions; and (2) how the regulations differ from the prompt corrective action prescriptions of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act.

(Sec. 302) Requires each insured credit union (except newly insured credit unions) with less than $50 million in total assets to file with the Board annually, and each insured credit union (except newly insured credit unions) with more than $50 million in total assets to file semi-annually, a certified statement showing the total amount of insured shares and both the amount of its deposit or adjustment of deposit and the amount of the insurance charge due to the fund for that period.

Requires annual adjustment for credit unions with total assets of less than $50 million, and semi-annual adjustment for credit unions with total assets of $50 million or more, of the amount of each insured credit union's deposit in the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund to reflect changes in its insured shares.

Authorizes the Board to assess premiums on insured credit unions only if the insurance fund's equity ratio is less than 1.3 percent, and the charge does not exceed the amount necessary to restore the equity ratio to 1.3 percent. Requires the Board to assess a premium charge sufficient to restore the fund's equity ratio to 1.2 percent if it falls below such percentage.

Requires the Board to effect a pro rata distribution to insured credit unions after each calendar year if, at the end of the year, any Federal loans to the fund have been repaid with interest, the fund's equity ratio exceeds the normal operating level (as specified by the Board, but not less than 1.2 percent nor more than 1.5 percent), and the fund's available assets ratio exceeds 1.0 percent. Sets the amount of the distribution at the maximum possible amount that does not reduce the fund's equity ratio below the normal operating level, and does not reduce the fund's available assets ratio below 1.0 percent.

(Sec. 303) Instructs the Board to: (1) periodically assess the potential liquidity needs of insured credit unions, individually and as a group, and the options available for meeting such needs; and (2) make information available to the Federal reserve banks in order to facilitate insured credit unions' access to liquidity.

Title IV: Miscellaneous Provisions - Directs the Secretary to study and report to the Congress on: (1) the differences between credit unions and other federally insured financial institutions, including regulatory differences with respect to regulations enforced by specified banking regulatory agencies; and (2) the potential effects of the application of Federal laws (including tax laws) to credit unions in the same manner as they are applied to other federally insured financial institutions.

(Sec. 402) Requires the Federal banking agencies to present a detailed status report to the Congress within one year of enactment of this Act regarding their implementation of the mandate of the Riegle Community Development and Regulatory Improvement Act of 1994 to streamline and modify regulatory requirements.

(Sec. 403) Requires the Secretary to report to the Congress any recommendations for legislative and administrative action to reduce and simplify the tax burden for: (1) insured depository institutions having less than $1 billion in assets; and (2) banks having total assets of not less than $1 billion nor more than $10 billion.