This decision by the Supreme Court brings to an end an almost four-year legal battle by the AMA against the NCUA.
Shortly after the Supreme Court’s decision, CUNA, NAFCU and CUNA Mutual Group released a joint announcement stating the groups “have long supported the rule and the NCUA’s authority to provide oversight for the credit union industry.”
“Today is a great day for anyone hoping to access the financial well-being afforded by credit unions,” said CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle. In denying the bankers’ lawsuit, the Court has established credit unions’ mission and structure as part of the fabric of America. In recognizing the NCUA’s right to oversee our system, the Court has also established a much-needed firewall from spurious attacks by the bankers. CUNA looks forward to working with the NCUA and credit unions to find new opportunities to expand people-over-profit financial services to communities across the country, and thanks to the Court for today’s decision.”
“The Supreme Court’s decision to decline to hear the banker’s case is an indication that the case is and has always been a baseless one,” said NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger. “For years, bank lobbyists have been unrelenting in their hollow efforts to maximize their own profits by working to undermine credit union growth and the financial well-being of America’s communities and small businesses. NAFCU stands firmly in support of the NCUA’s field of membership rule. It is well within the agency’s legal authority and works in favor of consumers, especially those that are underserved.”
“This is fantastic, and we applaud the Supreme Court for correctly rejecting the bankers’ appeal,” said Robert N. Trunzo, CUNA Mutual Group president & CEO. “This is a great win for credit unions and consumers during what could possibly be the most challenging period our nation and world have faced. As we continue to navigate through this extraordinarily difficult time, the Court’s decision will ensure people have continued access to vital credit union services as they seek to build a brighter financial future.”
In March 2018, Judge Dabney Friedrich of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia struck down parts of a rule the NCUA issued in 2016. Those sections automatically qualified a Combined Statistical Area or a contiguous portion of it with fewer than 2.5 million people to be a local community and increased the population limit to one million people for rural districts.
However, a three-judge panel from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia overturned large parts of that decision, ruling that major sections of the FOM rule complied with federal law.
The ABA then asked the high court to review that decision, contending that the rules give credit unions an unfair advantage.