Federal Agencies Clash Over CUConversions

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WASHINGTON - (06/03/05) -- The federal Office of ThriftSupervision said Thursday it has approved a thrift charter forCommunity CU and is prepared to certify the voting procedure forthe Texas credit union giant's conversion to mutual savings bank,setting up a potential battle with NCUA, which has invalidated theballoting. "Up to this point I'd have to say the vote has been fairand the process has been fair and if we had to provide anassessment today we would certify the vote," said Rick Riccobono,acting director of the OTS, who said they will reserve a formaljudgment until after Community CU's June 21 special meeting whenthe ballot will be completed. Riccobono told The Credit UnionJournal he met recently with NCUA Chairman JoAnn Johnson to tellher the thrift agency believes NCUA has unfairly disqualified theballots for Community CU based on a technicality. The OTS positionleaves open the possibility that the thrift regulator could certifyCommunity CU's conversion to thrift charter but have NCUA refusingto certify the vote and withholding more than $140 million ofCommunity CU's 1% deposit with the NCUSIF, raising the specter of alegal battle between the two federal agencies.

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