DENVER — A credit union chartered to serve the legal marijuana industry here remains in a holding pattern nearly four months after it was slated to open, with seemingly no opening date in site.
The Fourth Corner Credit Union was chartered by the state of Colorado last year — the first new credit union charter in the Rocky Mountain State in more than a decade — and had planned to open in January. However, according to Chris Myklebust, Colorado's Commissioner of Financial Services, TFCCU has yet to obtain deposit insurance, which has put it in a holding pattern.
In addition to waiting for an insurance approval from NCUA — a process which could take another 18 months or more — the credit union is also waiting on approval to access the Federal Reserve system. Colorado credit unions are not allowed to hold private insurance unless the state's commission of financial services is willing to expressly grant that privilege.
Myklebust previously told CU Journal that these businesses "deserve nothing less than the full faith and credit of the United States government to back their deposits," but also said that he has no plans to approve private insurance for an institution.
The credit union's website has said "Opening soon!" for several months and says it plans to open for business "in early 2015."
As CU Journal previously reported, Colorado credit unions can open their doors without insurance as long as they can provide proof they have applied for insurance. NCUA could not confirm or deny whether Fourth Corner had applied for federal deposit insurance, but a recent New York Times piece on the credit union indicated that the application is in place.
So what's keeping the CU from opening its doors? According to Myklebust, CUs can't open up shop without access to the Federal Reserve — and the Fed hasn't yet approved Fourth Corner's request. Without that, said Myklebust, "you function as a giant vault — you can take in all this cash, but you can't do anything with it."
So what happens next? Fourth Corner representatives appear to have no other options than to be patient. At this time, said Myklebust, "the only option is to wait it out."
Fourth Corner representatives have not responded to calls and emails from CU Journal seeking comment.