NCUA’s field of membership expansion process taking longer

Credit unions applying to expand their field of membership (FOM) are facing increasingly longer wait times for applications to be approved, according to data from the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA)’s Office of Credit Union Resources and Expansion (CURE).

The data, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, show that:

  • Between 2012 and 2016, the average approval response time for an FOM expansion application was 88.5 days across an average of 62.8 submitted applications per year.
  • ­Between 2017 and 2021, the approval time was 132.1 days, an increase of almost exactly 50% despite the number of submitted applications rising by 20% to 76 per year.

If the early trends in 2022 are any indication, that figure may only continue to rise—based on approvals recorded in January of this year, the average wait time was 169.7 days.


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