Application published for Mass. branching under new law

July 2, 2015 – Boston, Mass. – An official application for Massachusetts credit unions wishing to branch in one of the other New England states or New York – or for credit unions from those states to branch into the Bay State -- has been finalized and distributed by the commonwealth’s Office of Consumer Affairs & Business Regulation (OCABR), Division of Banks.

However, no Massachusetts credit union can open a branch prior to Oct. 1, and no credit union from one of the other states (or “foreign” credit union) may open a branch in Massachusetts until Oct. 1.

The publication of the application is among the first steps for implementing the Interstate Branching for Credit Unions legislation passed by the state last year and signed into law early this year. The new law provides for expanded credit union branching opportunities within the New England states of Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont. New York is also included in the branching law.

Massachusetts-chartered credit unions can submit one application to branch in every 12-month period. Applications are now being accepted by the Division (as of July 1).

Foreign credit unions may also submit one application to establish a branch located in Massachusetts to their respective regulators in every 12-month period. (Credit unions chartered by the other states must contact their respective regulators for additional information, according to the Division of Banks.)

Massachusetts-chartered credit unions, the Division stated, are advised that the out-of-state branch will also be subject to all applicable laws in the state into which they seek to establish a branch. Similarly, the Division advised foreign credit unions that a branch located within Massachusetts will be subject to all applicable state laws.

In a release, the Division noted that “as part of each credit union’s internal review process prior to submitting an application to the Division to expand into one of the other New England states or New York, each credit union should thoroughly review its existing field of membership provisions within its by-laws and is encouraged to consult with the Division on any questions regarding the process for any necessary amendments prior to filing an application with the Division.”

The Division released proposed regulations governing interstate branching for a public hearing in June. Final regulations are expected to be released soon.

Division of Banking, Information on Interstate Credit Union Branching-7-1-15

Division of Banking’s proposed regulation, 209 CMR 58.00: Credit Union Branching
(as proposed for the public hearing held on June 17, 2015.)