Defense CUs Brace As Closure List Is Released

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Twenty years of membership diversification has apparently buffered defense credit unions from the latest round of proposed military base closings, but several credit unions could take major hits, nevertheless.

At least three credit unions will be directly affected by the proposal released by the Pentagon's Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) commission, which recommended the closure of Fort Monmouth (New Jersey), home to First Atlantic FCU, Cannon Air Force Base (Albuquerque, N.M.), where Cannon FCU is located, and Ellsworth Air Force Base (South Dakota), home to Sentinel FCU.

"We've offered our assistance to these credit unions and any other credit unions that may be affected during the ongoing review," said Jay Morris, vice president of NAFCU.

However, because of the diversification of defense credit unions in recent years, either by conversion to community charters or by adding select groups to fields of memberships, credit unions are not expected to be affected as much by proposals to shutter 180 military installations over the next 20 years. The proposals are expected to generate heated lobbying efforts in Congress by those communities and other connected interests, including credit unions, affected over the next few months before a final list is approved around year-end.

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