continue reading » 12SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr In late October the National Credit Union Administration finalized changes to part 701 its rules and regulations that broaden field of membership definitions for federally insured credit unions. The agency announced that, as a result, more Americans will become eligible for credit union products and services effective Feb. 6, 2017.The change had the added benefit of re-naming NCUA’s consumer office to clarify its function and role in promoting consumer access to affordable financial services. NCUA Acting Chairman and prior Board Member J. Mark McWatters noted that the change would enhance consumer access to credit by sensibly and reasonably updating NCUA’s rules.” He further noted that the “… field-of-membership final rule is consistent with both the letter and spirit of the law.”The shift was one of the biggest regulatory moves for credit unions of 2016. Banks and other large financial institutions see it as a threat because it could have a substantial positive impact on credit union membership growth. Opponents of the change have threatened lawsuits challenging credit unions’ not-for-profit status.