Another legacy Dollar will leave behind is the ever-expanding field of membership grants approved by NCUA. The agency continued to expand the parameters for its community FOM limits last month with a grant to Mission FCU, San Diego, to serve three-million residents of San Diego County, by far the most populous community charter ever approved by the federal regulator.
The credit union agency also approved a request from Pan Am Horizons FCU, Homestead, Fla., to serve 2.3-million residents in Miami-Dade County, matching the previous high awarded in May to Dade County FCU, and less than two years after NCUA rejected the requests from the same two credit unions as incompatible with its FOM rules.
Both grants were allowable under the agency's new FOM rules which automatically recognize a political subdivision, such as a county, as a permissible community FOM.
Other large FOM grants last month went to: Mid-Atlantic FCU, Gaithersburg, Md., to serve more than 900,000 people in Montgomery County, Md.; Omaha FCU, Omaha, Neb., to cover 700,000 residents of Douglas, Sarpy and Washington counties, Neb., and Pottawattamie County, Iowa; and Savannah River Plant FCU, North August, S.C., to serve 650,000 people in August, Georgia and Aiken counties.
But just as memorable will be the so-called underserved communities that now sport a credit union presence because of the Dollar regime's inducements under its "Access Across America" policy. Mainstream credit unions continue to add large, diverse new markets through NCUA's underserved field of membership rules, which allow them to expand into new communities unrelated to their regular FOMs. The policy, adopted before Dollar's ascension to the NCUA Chair but expanded by him, has succeeded in locating hundreds of new credit union branches in some of the neediest and neglected communities in America.
Virginia Beach-based Chartway FCU, for example, continued to gobble up underserved areas last month with NCUA's go-ahead to add more than 300,000 residents surrounding Houston, making more than 1.2-million residents of low-income communities added by the $900- million credit union over the past two years. And Xerox FCU, which has been diversifying beyond its financially troubled corporate sponsor, obtained approval to add 225,000 people in underserved areas surrounding its sponsor's Rochester, N.Y., plant, in addition to underserved areas the $700-million credit union added in Illinois and Texas the past two years.
NCUA also gave its approval to North Jersey FCU, Totowa, N.J., to serve almost one-million residents of underserved communities in Union, Bergen, Passaic and Essex counties in New Jersey; and to Andrews FCU, Suitland, Md., to serve almost the entire 650,000 population of Washington, D.C., as an undeserved area.