Mo. Bankers Plan Appeal: 'We've Come This Far'

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The Missouri Bankers Association plans to appeal a state appellate court ruling last month which cut off its ability to bring challenges to the state's ever-growing field of membership (FOM) expansions. Max Cook, president of the MBA, said last week his group will ask the state appeals court first to rehear the ruling denying them standing to appeal decisions by the state credit union director, then, if necessary, bring its case to the state supreme court.

"Honestly, we've come this far that we feel we really have to take this as far as we can go. To stop now, we'd always wonder, 'what if,'" said Cook. "To hear the court say that we don't have standing is bothersome. In essence what they're saying is there's no one other than another credit union that has standing to challenge a ruling by the Credit Union Commission."

The ruling by the Missouri Court of Appeals for the Western District upheld a lower court ruling denying the bankers standing to bring a challenge to a ruling by the director of the state's credit union division approving a request from Telecom CU (formerly Springfield Telephone Employees CU) to serve 800,000 residents within the state's 417 telephone area code. The state CU commission, which signs off on all major decisions by the state regulator, adopted a similar stance, effectively cutting off the ability by the bankers to appeal any decisions regarding credit unions. A similar ruling on the federal level was overturned on appeal giving the bankers the ability to challenge credit union decisions with regard to federal charters.

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