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Secretary's Letters - Credit Unions


Secretary’s Letters are not intended as and do not constitute legal advice.  Please keep in mind that these letters contain generalizations regarding the applicable law discussed herein and are therefore not inclusive of all of the law’s provisions, conditions, exceptions, and details.  It is critically important for you to read the applicable law and seek guidance from your legal counsel regarding the effects of the law on your business operations. NOTE: most links on this page are to PDF documents.

05/12/2020 Secretary's Letter Regarding Assessment Impact of PPP loans (PDF)
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities (“Department”) seeks to neutralize the financial impact on assessment of loans originated by state-chartered financial institutions pursuant to the Small Business Administration (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP Loans”) 

Secretary's Letter on LIBOR Transition (PDF)
The Department urges state-regulated banks, credit unions, and financial services companies to take action and prepare for the replacement of London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). 

Secretary’s Letter on Industrial Hemp and Banking (PDF)
In determining whether it is prudent for financial institutions to provide financial services to persons engaged in state and federal government-authorized industrial hemp research programs.

Secretary's Letter on Cybersecurity (PDF)
The Department continues to work collaboratively with federal regulators, other states financial regulators, and other Commonwealth agencies to address cybersecurity challenges.

Credit Union Field of Membership (PDF)
Deputy Secretary’s Letter states that state-chartered credit unions are preapproved to include in their field of members the 12 types of associational groups enumerated in 12 CFR part 701.

Credit Union Assessment (PDF)
A letter from the Secretary of Banking and Securities announcing the Department’s regulation regarding the semiannual assessments on credit unions that will replace the existing assessment schedule.

Amendments to the Credit Union Code   (PDF)
A letter from the Secretary of Banking and Securities announcing passage of Act 62 of 2014, House Bill 200 (P.N. 2986), which updates and modernizes the Credit Union Code.

Consumer Equity Protection Act (the CEPA), changes in federal law   (PDF)
Deputy Secretary’s Letter announces changes to coverage of the Consumer Equity Protection Act as a result of changes in federal law.

Changes in the Manner Entities May Institute Mortgage Foreclosures  (PDF)
A letter from the Secretary of Banking and Executive Director of the PA Housing Finance Agency regarding the transition from the Act 91 Notice to the Act 6 Notice.


Section 501: Powers

Short-Term, Small Amount Loans  (PDF)
Deputy Secretary's Letter states that credit unions are preapproved to offer short-term, small amount loans ("STS Loans") in parity with the ability of federally chartered credit unions as authorized by the National Credit Union Administration ("NCUA") pursuant to Section 501(e)(1) and (f) of the Credit Union Code.

SAFE Act Legislation  (PDF)
The letter provides information regarding Act 31 of 2009, House Bill 1654 (P.N. 2448), which amends Pennsylvania’s existing mortgage industry licensing law, 7 Pa.C.S. Chapter 61, in order to implement the federal Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act of 2008 (the “SAFE Act”), 12 U.S.C. § 5101 et seq.

Potential Budget Impasse  (PDF)
Secretary's letter asking banking institutions to show flexibility and understanding toward state employees whose incomes may be temporarily disrupted as the result of a potential budget impasse. 

Confidentiality Provisions of the Department of Banking Code  (PDF)
Discusses confidentiality provisions of the Department of Banking Code related to examination reports and enforcement proceedings.

Credit Union System Investment   (PDF)
Deputy Secretary’s Letter states that credit unions that are eligible to participate in the Credit Union System Investment Program (“CU SIP”) announced by the National Credit Union Administration Board (“NCUA”) are pre-approved to borrow from the National Credit Union Administration Central Liquidity Facility (“CLF”) and invest the proceeds from such borrowings in CU SIP Notes consistent with the terms of the CU SIP in parity with the ability of federally-chartered credit unions, notwithstanding the restrictions of Section 511(b) of the Credit Union Code.

Mortgage Reform Laws   (PDF)
Provides detailed explanation of three bills signed into law by Governor Edward G. Rendell on July 8, 2008: Act 56 of 2008, House Bill 2179 (P.N. 4020), the new consolidated mortgage licensing bill (the “Mortgage Act”), Act 57 of 2008, Senate Bill 483 (P.N. 2163), which amends the Loan Interest and Protection Law (the “LIPL”), and Act 58 of 2008, Senate Bill 484 (P.N. 2251), which amends the Department of Banking Code (the “DOB Code”). 

Visa Stock Parity  (PDF)
Deputy Secretary Letter stating that Pennsylvania state-chartered credit unions that are eligible members of Visa U.S.A. are pre-approved to receive and retain stock that will be issued by Visa Inc. as part of a corporate restructuring in parity with the ability of federally-chartered credit unions.

Honoring Pennsylvania’s Holocaust Survivors  (PDF)
Acting Secretary Victoria A. Reider sent a letter to chief executive officers of financial institutions across the state urging them to voluntarily waive fees for 456 Pennsylvanians who will receive cash settlements as a result of work by the International Commission on Holocaust Era Insurance Claims.

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance   (PDF)
The Pennsylvania Department of Banking joins with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in urging you to consider ways that your institution might choose to participate in the IRS’ Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.

Overdraft Protection Programs  (PDF)
Secretary's Letter states that overdraft protection programs are permissible for state-chartered depository institutions and provides guidelines for such programs.

Financial Difficulties Due to the Recent Floods  (PDF)
Secretary's Letter on behalf of Governor Edward G. Rendell, encourage leaders of financial institutions to act with reasonable forbearance toward local governments, individuals and businesses which are experiencing financial difficulties due to the recent floods.

Improperly Influenced Appraisals  (PDF)
The Secretary's Letter informs all lenders and brokers under the jurisdiction of the Department of the Department's concerns related to the use of improperly influenced appraisals.  Letter also addresses "builder exception" under the Mortgage Bankers and Brokers and Consumer Equity Protection Act.

Act 207 of 2002 Provides Pennsylvania State-chartered Credit Unions Parity  (PDF)
The Secretary's Letter states that the Act 207 of 2002 provides Pennsylvania state-chartered credit unions parity with federally-chartered credit unions in regard to activities, field of membership requests, and investing in credit union service organizations, subject to a notice requirement.

Act 55 of 2001 Definition of Covered Loan Changes  (PDF)
The Secretary's Letter discusses that the Act 55 of 2001 definition of "Covered Loan" changes effective October 1, 2002; and that “Median Family Income” statistical estimates necessary for lenders to calculate (a) repayment ability of potential obligor under Section 512(b), and (b) whether negative amortization terms may be imposed on a potential obligor under Section 511(c), are now stated in the convenient chart attached to the letter.

Blocking Property & Prohibiting Transactions  (PDF)
Secretary's Letter regarding President Bush's Executive Order Blocking Property and Prohibiting Transactions with Persons Who Commit, Threaten to Commit or Support Terrorism.

Mortgage Bankers & Consumer Equity Protection Act  (PDF)
Secretary's Letter to announce Act 55 of 2001, the Mortgage Bankers and Consumer Equity Protection Act.  A summary of Act 55 is attached to the Secretary's letter.

Department Interpretations Regarding Field of Membership Issues  (PDF)

Year 2000 Readiness & Credit Underwriting Criteria  (PDF)

Investment Powers, Standards & Accounting Guidelines for Credit Unions  (PDF)