The National Savings and Loan League called yesterday for a delay in the new regulation governing interest rates payable on money market certificates.

The regulation, effective March 15, was issued by four federal agencies last week after repeated and urgent requests from many segments of the savings and loan industry to put a cap on money market certificate interest rates.

Compounding interest on the popular certificates, issued in $10,000 denominations, would no longer be allowed. And, when the interest rate on six-month Treasury bills -- to which the rate payable on the certificates is keyed -- is 9 percent or more, thrift institutions cannot add their usual additional one-quarter percentage point.

While not opposing the change, the NSLL wants the effective date delayed until March 31 because of the problems thrifts face in abiding with the measure, including automatic renewal clauses in existing certificates, operational changes and the need to notify depositors.

In a letter to Chairman Robert H./ McKinney of the Federal Home Loan Bank Borad, NSLL president Harold W. Greenwood Jr. also asked that S&Ls be allowed to renew money market certificates issued before March 15 in accordance with the old terms.

Under the old terms, automatic renewal of the certificates is tied to the T-bill rate and the one-quarter percentage point bonus, which the new regulation disallows. Changes in that procedure, under the old terms, could be made upon 10 days' notice to depositors. The NSLL contends the March 15 date precludes the 10-day notice agreemtnes.

Greenwood, in his letter, praised as "generally constructive" the federal regulatory agencies' response to the rising cost of funds that increasing popularity of the new certificates was causing S&Ls.

The new regulation, designed to tighten credit and save thrift institutions money, is stirring broad fears that mortgage funds will now dry up.