Community CU Plans Texas-Sized Switch ToBank

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PLANO, Texas - (01/04/05) -- Community CU, the nation's largestcommunity chartered credit union, announced Monday it plans toconvert to a mutual savings bank. If approved, the $1.7 billioncredit union will be the largest credit union to convert to a bank.Gary Base, the well-known president and CEO of the credit union,said he believes the mutual thrift charter will provide hisinstitution with greater growth potential. "We just think theoption will present us better opportunities for where we're goingas an institution. As you know, we're very active in the mortgagearea and the business lending area; and to stay competitive youhave to stay on your toes," Base told The Credit Union Journal.Base, an outspoken credit union advocate and chairman of the TexasCU Commission for the past seven years, said he has not abandonedhis advocacy. "I'll always be a great credit union advocate. It'sbeen a great charter for 52 years," he said. The credit union,founded in 1951 to serve employees of Collins Radio Corp., nowserves 57 communities surrounding Dallas and has one of thebroadest community fields of membership in the country. Underapplications filed with state and federal regulators, Community CUwould first convert to a mutual savings bank, then sell stock tothe public through a mutual holding company structure. Theconversion, which would be the first for a Texas state charter,will require approval of 51% of voting members. Community CU isbeing represented by CU Financial of Portland, Me., and theWashington, D.C.-based Silver, Freedman & Taff, which haveteamed on more than a dozen credit union conversions. Community CUwould be the first billion-dollar credit union to convert to mutualsavings bank and is more than four times the size of RainierPacific CU, which was the largest credit union to make the charterswitch.

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