Northern Credit Union converts to state charter

northernThe members of Northern Credit Union voted to convert the credit union to a state charter from a federal charter.

“We believe this comes with the opportunity to serve our membership more effectively allowing us to serve a larger community, be more involved with regulators who affect changes relating to financial institutions, provide the ability to increase member convenience, and help maintain our commitment to local decision-making,” the Watertown-based credit union said in a statement. “With this charter change we will continue to evolve our product and service offerings, our branch locations, and our technology to best meet the needs of our membership. Our commitment to sound planning, member focused initiatives, and a visionary outlook to the future remains steadfast.”

The New York Credit Union Association has long advocated for improvements and enhancements to the state credit union charter. In recent years, the Association has seen several key improvements to the state charter implemented by working closely with the Legislature, the state Department of Financial Services and Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration.

The Association has successfully worked with stakeholders in state government to:

star3 pass a law that allows state-chartered credit unions to mix and match fields of membership;

star3 improve the process for obtaining low-income designations;

star3 ease restrictions on school banking programs;

star3 set the minimum interest rate to be paid by state-chartered financial institutions on escrow accounts in connection with loans secured by mortgages on one-to-six family residences; and

star3 issue guidance that encourages state-chartered financial institutions to establish banking relationships with properly run marijuana and hemp businesses.

“I am pleased to see that credit unions are beginning to take advantage of our continually improving state charter,” said Association President/CEO William J. Mellin. “Gov. Andrew Cuomo and DFS Superintendent Maria Vullo have been extraordinarily receptive and responsive to the idea of a competitive state charter, and we thank them for their efforts. It is my hope that more New York credit unions will continue to examine and seriously consider the benefits of the state charter.”

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