Air Force FCU Flies Through NCUA Sanctions

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SAN ANTONIO – Officials with Air Force FCU hope a new field of membership approved by NCUA will help it overcome a rare citation by the federal regulator for violation of its own field of membership and minimize an unprecedented order to divest loans and deposits of ineligible members.

The new FOM will allow the $330 million to serve anyone serving in the U.S. military in Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas, as well as civilian or federal government employees at military facilities in those states.

The one-time Lackland Air Force Base FCU was cited in a rare Letter of Understanding and Agreement earlier this year for violating its multiple group defense FOM by accepting anyone with a military identification who had used the facilities at the base to join, even though it was authorized to accept only military personnel who were using the base's services on an ongoing basis. According to NCUA, Air Force FCU took “an overly expansive view” of its FOM and accepted deposits and made loans to people unqualified to be members between 2002 and 2009, helping push the credit union's rapid growth. That meant during those years anyone who used Lackland Air Base facilities at any time – which amounts to almost anyone in the Air Force, was allowed to join. The ineligible members made up a significant percentage of the credit union's shares and loans, NCUA said.

A representative of the credit union said yesterday the new FOM will give clarity to its membership criteria.

The credit union is still working on a divestiture plan with NCUA, the spokesman said.

The supervisory agreement is unusual because NCUA rarely monitors for adherence to FOM, and almost never cites a credit union for violating its own FOM.

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