The NCUA has confirmed that federal credit unions cannot charge periodic membership fees, according to a letter it sent to the American Bankers Association last month.
“FCUs may not charge periodic membership fees, but they may charge a uniform entrance fee and account or service-related fees,” NCUA General Counsel Michael McKenna wrote in the letter, which was dated May 1, 2015. “In a 1993 Legal Opinion Letter, No. 93-0226, NCUA opined that the mention of the entrance fee without the mention of other membership fees forecloses on an FCU’s ability to assess annual membership fees.”
Entrance fees and fees for account services and other financial products don’t count as membership fees, he said, and they can’t serve as a condition for continued membership.