What Is the National Association of Federal Credit Unions (NAFCU)?

The National Association of Federal Credit Unions (NAFCU) is an industry trade group founded in 1967 to represent the interests of federal credit unions, and promote the success and efficiency of the industry. Its membership is made up of both large and small credit unions, including about 80 percent of the 100 largest credit unions. Its activities include representing, informing, educating and assisting its members regarding industry issues. Headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, one of its main purposes is to influence the laws and regulations affecting federal credit unions.

Understanding the National Association of Federal Credit Unions (NAFCU)

The National Association of Federal Credit Unions (NAFCU) is a trade group for federal credit unions. Federal credit unions are similar to banks, but are owned by their members and are organized under federal rather than state law. They are regulated by the National Credit Union Administration, and members' deposits are protected by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund, which is similar to FDIC insurance.

The Federal Credit Union system was established by the Federal Credit Union Act in 1934 for the purpose of promoting savings and the financing of homeownership and other productive purposes. Credit Unions that are recognized by the federal government through the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), an independent federal agency, are tax exempt under Section 501(c)14 of the United States' Internal Revenue Code. Though federal credit unions don’t earn income and pay no corporate income tax, they are required to pay fees in order to fund regulatory functions and deposit insurance. Federal credit unions are also required to report their finances to the NCUA at least once per year, but they also may be required to report more than once per year.

Priorities of the National Association of Federal Credit Unions

The NAFCU was formed in 1967, and its first major policy victory was the establishment of the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund, which is the deposit insurance program for credit unions. The next big policy battle for the NAFCU was in the 1990s, when the organization fought off efforts to roll back deposit insurance for credit unions. It also took great interest in the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation, fighting efforts to make credit unions subject to oversight by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The National Association of Federal Credit Unions argued that due to credit unions’ non-profit and member-owned structure, they do not deserve the same level of scrutiny as for-profit banks, and that compliance with CFPB regulations would be unduly burdensome.