Measure Would Expand Community CharterPowers In Florida

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - (03/17/05) -- More than 75 credit union volunteersand staff from Florida were on hand when the Senate Committee onBanking and Insurance unanimously approved a bill Wednesday thatwould expand the community chartering powers of state charteredcredit unions. The bill would amend the definition of a communitycharter from the current one enabling a credit union to serveanyone who 'resides' in a given area to anyone who 'resides orworks' in an area, to make it comport more to the definition forfederal charters that can serve anyone who 'resides, works orworships' in a locality, according to Mark Ivester, spokesman forthe Florida CU League. The only opposition voiced to the bill wasby the Florida Bankers Association which charged the new powerswould lead to explosive growth of credit unions. Alex Sanchez,president of the banking group insisted that credit unions wereexpanding "way beyond their original purposes." But the panelpassed the bill anyway and sent it on for a vote by the fullSenate. A similar bill is making its way through the House, Ivestertold The Credit Union Journal. Florida credit unions already enjoysome of the broadest community chartering powers, with some creditunions authorized to serve multiple counties with as many as fiveor six million residents.

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