June 29, 2018

NAFCU clarifies no CU changes from NDAA provision on nominal leases

NAFCU Vice President of Legislative Affairs Brad Thaler clarified in a message to defense-related credit unions Thursday that "nothing is proposed to change for credit unions in their ability to receive nominal fee leases" as Congress works out the final details of the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Questions are arising from credit unions on this topic as some news reports have been misleading, Thaler explained.

Credit unions have nominal lease space in federal buildings and on military bases from a provision in the Federal Credit Union Act; Thaler reiterated that the NDAA pending before Congress does not change this.

He did note in his message that the House version of the NDAA does have a provision that would direct the Department of Defense (DoD) to give space to financial institutions on bases (not discretionary) and that the definition of financial institutions used only includes banks and not credit unions. However, the Senate version of the NDAA includes no such provision.

The final NDAA is currently being worked out in a conference committee with both House and Senate members. He told credit unions that even though the legislation has no impact on the current situation with credit union leases, "NAFCU does not support the military bank lease provision as it stands now, as it could grant a stronger exception for bank leases (by being non-discretionary)."  

He further added that the DoD has not expressed its support for the provision. "There remains a strong likelihood that this provision will either be struck or modified to give credit unions non-discretionary leases during the conference consideration." 

NAFCU expects formal conference consideration of the NDAA to occur in mid-to-late July.