Court Strikes Down Missouri’s FOMRules

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - (03/30/06) – In a ruling that could causehavoc among the state’s biggest credit unions, a state courthere ruled for the bankers and struck down the Missouri CUCommission’s field of membership rules that have allowedcredit unions ever increasing community grants. In its ruling, theCole County Circuit Court overruled the Commission’sauthority to define what would be considered a valid geographicarea for purposes of setting an FOM. The Missouri BankersAssociation and several local banks had challenged theCommission’s rulings in granting several of the biggest FOMgrants ever in Missouri, several of which encompassed numerouscounties and more than 1.5 million people. The bankers claimed thatthe Commission’s rulings violated provisions of thestate’s 1998 membership law which allowed credit unions toadd groups up to 3,000 in number. Among the FOM grants beingchallenged are those awarded to some of Missouri’s biggeststate chartered credit unions, including First Community CU,Vantage CU, St, Louis Postal CU, St. Louis Telephone Employees CU,Alliance CU and Electro Savings CU. The credit union division ofthe state Department of Economic Development, which oversees thestate’s credit unions, is expected to appeal the ruling to ahigher court. Roshara Holub, president of the Missouri CUAssociation, expressed confidence the lower court ruling will beoverturned on appeal. “We are confident that the appellatecourt will overtur n the circuit court decision and give duedeference to the rulings of a regulatory commission authorized bystate statute,” said Holub in a preparedstatement.

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