CUNA May Join Missouri Fight If Bankers Also Do

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The American Bankers Association has entered the fray here over the bankers ability to challenge credit unions. The ABA asked a state appellate court for permission to join the Missouri Bankers Association in asking the state appeals court to overturn a lower court ruling denying them standing to challenge rulemaking and other decisions by the state credit union supervisor, specifically field of membership (FOM) expansions.

The bankers have filed almost 20 FOM challenges, but have been turned away because the state court says they do not have standing to challenge credit union rules. So the outcome of this case is a critical one as it could shut off the bankers' ability to launch legal challenges altogether, or open up the rulemaking process for credit unions to unlimited challenges.

CUNA said last week if the ABA joins the suit it will also step in on behalf of the credit union supervisor, threatening to blow the stateside encounter into another national confrontation between credit unions and banks. Six years ago the ABA was successful in getting a federal appeals court to overturn a lower court ruling in the landmark AT&T Family FCU case and get the bankers standing to challenge CU laws and rules on the national level.

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