SB 2266 – A bill to protect financial choice for all North Dakotans
BISMARCK, ND (January 20, 2023) — We like to say that North Dakota is open for business, and that’s mostly true, except for credit unions. Today, North Dakota’s 18 state chartered credit unions operate under one of the strictest Field of Membership (FOM) statutes in the nation, particularly in comparison to how federally chartered credit unions can operate. As written, only those residing within 75 miles of a credit union’s home office, or similar limited radius of a branch, can be a member of an “open charter” North Dakota state chartered credit union. Because we are primarily a rural state with great distances between our communities, many North Dakotans are being left behind or have limited options for financial services.
Why don’t North Dakota credit unions just convert to a federal charter then? That’s a fair question. However, this is about preserving local oversight and control. There are clear advantages to being a state chartered credit union; having the North Dakota Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) as their primary regulator and guidance from the North Dakota State Credit Union Board are the obvious ones.
North Dakota’s credit unions and our 213,000 members deserve an operating environment that is fair, modern, and one that helps our state-chartered credit unions keep pace with other financial services providers that are expanding into our state.
The Dakota Credit Union Association, along with many of our member credit unions, are supporting SB 2266, now introduced into the 68th ND State Legislative Assembly. As written, SB 2266 would give North Dakota credit unions similarity with federally chartered credit unions by allowing an individual to join a credit union if they work or attend school in the credit union’s community, in addition to residing. We are also seeking to expand the radius to allow credit unions to serve more rural communities and banking deserts.
With just 10 percent of North Dakota’s market share, our mission in supporting SB 2266 is to improve the financial well-being of our members and advance the communities we serve. If passed, this important legislation will open our state for North Dakota credit unions and protect financial choice for all North Dakotas. Visit our FOM page on our website to learn more.
About Dakota Credit Union Association (DakCU)
The Dakota Credit Union Association (DakCU) is the professional financial trade association serving 69 credit unions that employ more than 2,200 individuals across the Dakotas. With nearly 520,000 members in North and South Dakota, Dakota credit unions have assets exceeding $9.4 billion. In our mission to help credit unions succeed, DakCU plays a key role in growing membership and helping to provide service excellence to members from offices in Bismarck, ND and Sioux Falls, SD. For more information visit our website.