12 CFR 712.4 - What must a FICU and a CUSO do to maintain separate corporate identities?
(a) Corporate separateness. A FICU and a CUSO must be operated in a manner that demonstrates to the public the separate corporate existence of the FICU and the CUSO. Good business practices dictate that each must operate so that:
(1) Its respective business transactions, accounts, and records are not intermingled;
(2) Each observes the formalities of its separate corporate procedures;
(3) Each is adequately financed as a separate unit in the 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 enterprise;
(5) The FICU does not dominate the CUSO to the extent that the CUSO is treated as a department of the FICU; and
(6) Unless the FICU has guaranteed a loan obtained by the CUSO, all borrowings by the CUSO indicate that the FICU is not liable.
(b) Written legal advice. Prior to a FICU investing in a CUSO, the FICU must obtain written legal advice as to whether the CUSO is established in a manner that will limit potential exposure of the FICU to no more than the loss of funds invested in, or loaned to, the CUSO. In addition, if a FICU invests in, or makes a loan to, a CUSO, and that CUSO plans to change its structure under § 712.3(a), the FICU must also obtain prior written legal advice that the CUSO will remain established in a manner that will limit potential exposure of the FICU to no more than the loss of funds invested in, or loaned to, the CUSO. The written legal advice must address factors that have led courts to “pierce the corporate veil,” such as inadequate capitalization, lack of separate corporate identity, common boards of directors and employees, control of one entity over another, and lack of separate books and records. The written legal advice must be provided by independent legal counsel of the investing FICU or the CUSO.