ALEXANDRIA, Va. - The National Credit Union Administration is planning to provide free supervision to all federal credit unions with less than $500,000 of assets.

The agency's June 14 proposal would increase the size of credit unions exempt from annual fees by 10 times. Right now, just 59 federal credit unions with less than $50,000 of assets are supervised and examined by the regulator free of charge. By contrast, 839 federal credit unions have less than $500,000 of assets.

Agency Chairman Norman D'Amours endorsed the change last week as a way to decrease the financial burden on smaller groups.

"This approach will provide larger credit unions with an additional opportunity to help and support smaller credit unions, which will strengthen the entire credit union movement," he said in a statement.

The agency also proposed a 40% cut in fees levied on the 349 federal credit unions with assets ranging from $500,000 to $750,000.

The $104,747 decrease in revenues these changes would produce would be recouped by higher fees on all other federal credit unions, the agency said.

The public has until mid-August to comment on the proposal.

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