State Corporation Commission Denies Addition of Virginia Medical Society to Virginia Credit Union’s Field-of-Membership
In a disappointing decision with potential national implications for field-of-membership expansions, the Virginia State Corporation Commission has denied authorization for Virginia Credit Union to add a group of state medical professionals to its field-of-membership.
Virginia Credit Union’s original application to add the Medical Society of Virginia (MSV) to its field-of-membership was filed in 2018. The Medical Society of Virginia is a 10,000-member association offering support and services to medical professionals across the Commonwealth.
Virginia Credit Union was approved by the Bureau of Financial Institutions (BFI) to add the MSV to its field-of-membership in July 2019, prompting the Virginia Bankers Association and seven of its member banks to file a petition asking the SCC judges to consider whether or not BFI’s decision was appropriate.
Your League joined Virginia Credit Union as a party to the case, which has stretched four years and has included two formal hearings before SCC hearing examiners -- the first in July 2020; the second in October 2021. Following both hearings, the SCC hearing examiners issued recommendations to the SCC judges that sided strongly with Virginia Credit Union, the Bureau of Financial Institutions and the League.
Virginia Credit Union League President and CEO, Carrie Hunt notes, “It remains disappointing and frustrating that the bankers continue to thwart credit unions from providing provident credit to Virginians. The reality is- credit unions are not in competition with community banks- large banks are. The Virginia Credit Union League will continue to zealously fight for the interests for all credit unions in Virginia to do what they do best- provide the best in consumer financial services to citizens the Commonwealth.”
Bankers have recently engaged in state-level legislative and judicial attacks – whether field-of-membership or taxation -- in hopes of building momentum for carrying these issues to the federal level, meaning this case bears every credit union’s close attention. Importantly, the laws granting authority to regulators to approve common-bond expansions for groups with more than 3,000 potential members in Virginia and at the federal level are very similar in both wording and intent.
You can view case information here.
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