Letter outlines new CUSO registry
Jan. 15, 2016 -- Credit union service organizations (CUSOs) and the NCUA’s new registry for them is the subject of a Letter to Credit Unions issued today by the agency and sent to all federally insured credit unions.
“The purpose of this letter is to ensure credit unions are informed about the upcoming initial registration period for the CUSO Registry,” the letter states, which it defines as the “online system through which credit union service organizations (CUSOs) will report information directly to NCUA.”
The registry will be available for CUSOs to begin registering on Feb. 1, the letter states. CUSOs will have 60 days between Feb. 1 and March 31 to register. There is no fee to use the registry.
The letter, LTCU 16-CU-02, notes that federally insured credit unions are required to enter into written agreements with any CUSOs to which they make loans or invest in. Each agreement, the letter states, must be signed before a credit union invests in or lends to a CUSO. “The written agreement must obligate the CUSO to annually provide certain information directly to NCUA, and the state supervisory authority where applicable,” the letter states. “This required information will be collected from CUSOs through the CUSO Registry.”
The letter also notes that the registry plays a role in enforcement of CUSO registration – essentially by blocking a credit union from doing business with a CUSO that has not registered. “Beginning in mid-2016, credit unions and examiners can search the CUSO Registry to determine if a CUSO has registered. Once the search function is available, your credit union may not make a new loan to or investment in a CUSO that has not satisfied the annual registration requirement.”
The letter also addresses how the registration process for CUSOs will proceed, and the confidentiality of information provided via the registry.