12 CFR § 220.110 - Assistance by Federal credit union to its members.
(a) An inquiry was presented recently concerning the application of this part or part 221 of this subchapter, to a plan proposed by a Federal credit union to aid its members in purchasing stock of a corporation whose subsidiary apparently was the employer of all the credit union's members.
(b) From the information submitted, the plan appeared to contemplate that the Federal credit union would accept orders from its members for registered common stock of the parent corporation in multiples of 5 shares; that whenever orders had been so received for a total of 100 shares, the credit union, as agent for such members, would execute the orders through a brokerage firm with membership on a national securities exchange; that the brokerage firm would deliver certificates for the stock, registered in the names of the individual purchasers, to the credit union against payment by the credit union; that the credit union would prorate the total amount so paid, including the brokerage fee, among the individual purchasers according to the number of shares purchased by them; and that a savings in brokerage fee resulting from the 100-lot purchases would be passed on by the credit union to the individual purchasers of the stock. However, amounts of the stock less than 100 shares would be purchased by the credit union through the brokerage firm for any members willing to forego such savings.
(c) It appeared further that the Federal credit union members for whom stock was so purchased would reimburse the credit union (1) by cash payment, (2) by the proceeds of withdrawn shares of the credit union, (3) by the proceeds of an installment loan from the credit union collateraled by the stock purchased, or by (4) by a combination of two or more of the above methods. To assist the collection of any such loan, the employer of the credit union members would provide payroll deductions. Apparently, sales by the credit union of any of the stock purchased by one of its members would occur only in satisfaction of a delinquent loan balance. In no case did it appear that the credit union would make a charge for arranging the execution of transactions in the stock for its members.
(d) The Board was of the view that, from the facts as presented, it did not appear that the Federal credit union should be regarded as the type of institution to which part 221 of this subchapter, in its present form, applied.
(e) With respect to this part, the question was whether the activities of the Federal credit union under the proposal, or otherwise, might be such as to bring it within the meaning of the terms “broker” or “dealer” as used in the part and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The Board observed that this, of course, was a question of fact that necessarily depended upon the circumstances of the particular case, including the manner in which the arrangement in question might be carried out in practice.
(f) On the basis of the information submitted, however, it did not appear to the Board that the Federal credit union should be regarded as being subject to this part as a “broker or dealer who transacts a business in securities through the medium of” a member firm solely because of its activities as contemplated by the proposal in question. The Board stated that the part rather clearly would not apply if there appeared to be nothing other than loans by the credit union to its members to finance purchases made directly by them of stock of the parent corporation of the employer of the member-borrowers. The additional fact that the credit union, as agent, would purchase such stock for its members (even though all such purchases might not be financed by credit union loans) was not viewed by the Board as sufficient to make the regulation applicable where, as from the facts presented, it did not appear that the credit union in any case was to make any charge or receive any compensation for assisting in such purchases or that the credit union otherwise was engaged in securities activities. However, the Board stated that matters of this kind must be examined closely for any variations that might suggest the inapplicability of the foregoing.
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