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RULE §91.801Investments in Credit Union Service Organizations

(a) Definitions. As used in this section:

  (1) A credit union service organization (CUSO) is an organization whose primary purpose is to strengthen or advance the credit union movement, serve or otherwise assist credit unions or their operations, and provide products or services authorized by this section to credit unions and their members.

  (2) An investment in a CUSO includes the following:

    (A) an investment in the stock, bonds, debentures, or other equity ownership interest of the CUSO; and

    (B) loans granted by a third party to the CUSO which are guaranteed in writing by the credit union.

  (3) A financing program is a plan, approved by the credit union's board of directors, that provides for multiple extensions of credit to a CUSO during the regular course of business.

(b) Authority. A credit union by itself, or with other parties, may organize, invest in or make loans to a CUSO only if it is structured and operated in a manner that demonstrates to the public that it maintains a legal existence separate from the credit union. A credit union and a CUSO must operate so that:

  (1) their respective business transactions, accounts, and records are not intermingled;

  (2) each observes the formalities of its separate corporate or other organizational procedures;

  (3) each is adequately capitalized as a separate unit in light of normal obligations reasonably foreseeable in a business of its size and character;

  (4) each is held out to the public as a separate and distinct enterprise;

  (5) all transactions between them are at arm's length and consistent with sound business practices as to each of them;

  (6) unless the credit union has guaranteed a loan to the CUSO, all borrowings by the CUSO indicate that the credit union is not liable; and

  (7) their respective activities are in compliance with any licensing or registration requirements imposed by applicable federal or state law.

(c) Notice; Authorization; Supplemental Information; Written Objection.

  (1) Required Notice. Before committing to any aggregate investment or loan to a CUSO in an amount greater than 15% of the credit union's net worth, a credit union shall provide at least thirty days' written notice to the commissioner of its intent to make or increase its investment in a CUSO, or make a loan to or enter into a financing program with a CUSO. Subject to the net worth threshold, a credit union shall also provide notice of its intent to engage in additional or substitute activities in an existing CUSO or its intent to materially alter an existing loan or financing program with a CUSO. The written notice shall include as applicable:

    (A) a description of the organizational and legal structure of the CUSO and the proposed method of capitalizing the organization;

    (B) a description of the loan, including the purpose, terms, guarantors, and collateral;

    (C) a description of the products or services to be offered by the CUSO and the customer base it will serve;

    (D) an explanation of how the CUSO will primarily serve credit unions or members of credit unions, or how the activities of the CUSO could be conducted directly by a credit union or are incidental to the conduct of the business of a credit union; and

    (E) a representation that the activities will be conducted in accordance with applicable law, the requirements of this section, and in a manner that will limit exposure of the credit union to no more than the loss of funds invested in, or loaned to, the CUSO.

  (2) Authorization to Proceed. If the commissioner issues a non-objection letter, the credit union may proceed with the proposed transaction when it receives the letter. Otherwise, a credit union may proceed with the proposed transaction or the CUSO may engage in the new activities 30 days after the department receives the required notice, unless the commissioner takes one of the following actions before the expiration of that time period:

    (A) the commissioner notifies the credit union that it must file additional information supplementing the required notice. If a credit union is required to file additional information, it may proceed with the proposed transaction or the CUSO may engage in the new activities 30 days after the department receives the requested information, unless the commissioner issues a written objection before the expiration of that time period; or

    (B) the commissioner notifies the credit union of an objection to the proposed transaction or new activity.

  (3) Request for Supplemental Information. A credit union shall provide any additional information reasonably requested by the commissioner.

  (4) Action on a Notice. The commissioner shall object to a proposed transaction or activity if the commissioner finds that:

    (A) there is inadequate capital to support the proposed transaction or activity;

    (B) the proposed transaction or activity does not comply with this section;

    (C) the credit union's concentrated exposures to the CUSO give rise to safety and soundness issues; or

    (D) the credit union has regulatory or operational deficiencies which would materially affect its ability to properly and effectively manage and monitor the risk associated with the CUSO.

  (5) Written Objection. If the commissioner determines that an objection should be interposed, the commissioner will notify the credit union in writing of the determination and the actions the credit union must take to proceed with the proposed transaction or activity. A credit union receiving notification of an objection may appeal the commissioner's finding to the commission in the manner provided by Chapter 93, Subchapter C of this title (relating to Appeals of Preliminary Determinations on Applications).

(d) Limitations. The board of directors of a credit union that organizes, invests in, or lends to any CUSO shall adopt and maintain written policies, which establish appropriate limits and standards for this type of investment including the maximum amount relative to the credit union's net worth, that will be invested in or loaned to any one CUSO. The maximum amount invested in any one CUSO may not exceed the statutory limit established by Texas Finance Code §124.352(b). Total investments in and total loans to CUSOs shall not, in the aggregate, exceed 10% of the total unconsolidated assets of the credit union, unless the credit union receives the prior written approval of the commissioner. The amount of loans to CUSOs, cosigned, endorsed, or otherwise guaranteed by the credit union, shall be included in the aggregate for the purpose of determining compliance with the limitations of this section.

(e) Prohibitions. No credit union may invest in or make loans to a CUSO:

  (1) if any officer, director, committee member, or employee of the credit union or any member of the immediate family of such persons owns or makes an investment in or has made or makes a loan to the CUSO;

  (2) unless the organization is structured as a corporation, limited liability company, registered limited liability partnership, or limited partnership;

  (3) unless the credit union has obtained written legal advice that the CUSO has been designed in a manner that will limit the credit union's potential exposure to no more than the amount of funds invested in or loaned to the CUSO;

  (4) if the CUSO engages in any revenue-producing activity other than the performance of services for credit unions or members of credit unions, and such activity equals or exceeds one half (1/2) of the CUSO's total revenue;

  (5) unless prior to investing in or making a loan to a CUSO the credit union obtains a written agreement which requires the CUSO to follow GAAP, render financial statements to the credit union at least quarterly, and provide the department, or its representatives, complete access to the CUSO's books and records at reasonable times without undue interference with the business affairs of the CUSO;

  (6) unless the CUSO is adequately bonded or insured for its operations;

  (7) unless the CUSO obtains an annual opinion audit, by a licensed Certified Public Accountant, on its financial statements in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards, unless the investment in or loan to the CUSO by any one or more credit unions does not exceed $100,000, or the CUSO is wholly owned and the CUSO is included in the annual consolidated financial statement audit of its parent credit union; or

  (8) if any director of the credit union is an employee of the CUSO, or anticipates becoming an employee of the CUSO upon its formation.

(f) Permissible activities and services. The commissioner may, based upon supervisory, legal, or safety and soundness reasons, limit any CUSO activities or services, or refuse to permit any CUSO activities or services. Otherwise, a credit union may invest in or loan to a CUSO that is engaged in providing products and services that include, but are not limited to:

  (1) operational services including credit and debit card services, cash services, wire transfers, audits, ATM and other EFT services, share draft and check processing and related services, shared service center operations, electronic data processing, development, sale, lease, or servicing of computer hardware and software, alternative methods of financing and related services, other lending related services, and other services or activity, including consulting, related to the routine daily operations of credit unions;

  (2) financial services including financial planning and counseling, securities brokerage and dealer activities, estate planning, tax services, insurance services, administering retirement, or deferred compensation and other employee or business benefit plans;

  (3) internet-based or related services including sale and delivery of products to credit unions or members of credit unions;

  (4) Property management services; or

  (5) any other product, service or activity deemed economically beneficial or attractive to credit unions or credit union members if approved, in writing, by the commissioner.

(g) Compensation. A credit union director, senior management employee, or committee member or immediate family member of any such person may not receive any salary, commission, or other income or compensation, either directly or indirectly, from a CUSO affiliated with their credit union, unless received in accordance with a written agreement between the CUSO and the credit union. The agreement shall describe the services to be performed, the rate of compensation (or a description of the method of determining the amount of compensation) and any other provisions deemed desirable by the CUSO and the credit union. The agreement, and any amendments, must be approved by the board of directors of the credit union and the board of directors (or equivalent governing body) of the CUSO prior to any performance of service or payment and annually thereafter. For purposes of this section, senior management employee shall include the chief executive officer, any assistant chief executive officers (vice presidents and above), and the chief financial officer. Immediate family shall include a person's spouse or any other person living in the same household.

(h) Examination fee. If the commissioner requests a CUSO to make its books and records available for inspection and examination, the CUSO shall pay a supplemental examination fee as prescribed in §97.113(e) of this title (relating to Supplemental examination fees). The commissioner may waive the supplemental examination fee or reduce the fee.

(i) Exception. A credit union which has a net worth ratio greater than six percent (6%) and is deemed adequately capitalized by its insuring organization may make an investment in or make loans to a CUSO that is not limited by the restriction set forth in subsection (e)(4) of this section, provided the activities of the CUSO are limited to activities which could be conducted directly by a credit union or are incidental to the conduct of the business of a credit union. Notwithstanding this exception, all other provisions of the act and this chapter applicable to a CUSO apply. In the event a credit union's net worth declines below the required thresholds, the credit union may not renew, extend the maturity of, or restructure an existing loan, advance additional funds, or increase the investment in the CUSO without the prior written approval of the commissioner.

(j) Change in Valuation. If the limitations established by this section are reached or exceeded solely because of the profitability of the CUSO and the related GAAP valuation of the investment under the equity method, divestiture is not required. A credit union may continue to invest up to the limitation without regard to the increase in the GAAP valuation resulting from a CUSO's profitability.

Source Note: The provisions of this §91.801 adopted to be effective March 8, 1984, 9 TexReg 1155; amended to be effective August 7, 1984, 9 TexReg 4028; amended to be effective March 8, 1994, 19 TexReg 1327; amended to be effective May 13, 1999, 24 TexReg 3473; amended to be effective August 14, 2000, 25 TexReg 7635; amended to be effective January 7, 2004, 29 TexReg 83; amended to be effective July 11, 2004, 29 TexReg 6630; amended to be effective July 10, 2005, 30 TexReg 3863; amended to be effective November 11, 2007, 32 TexReg 7921; amended to be effective March 4, 2009, 34 TexReg 1400; amended to be effective March 8, 2012,37TexReg 1505; amended to be effective June 18, 2012, 37 TexReg 4410; amended to be effective November 24, 2019, 44 TexReg 7039

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