NCUA Bans Low-Income Expansions ForCommunity Charters

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ALEXANDRIA, Va. - (01/02/06) – In a tentative victory for thebankers, NCUA announced Friday it has withdrawn the authority ofAmerica First FCU to serve new low-income communities in Utah andimposed an immediate halt on the addition of low-income communitiesfor all non-multiple group credit unions. The action comes as afederal court in Utah is reviewing a legal challenge brought by theAmerican Bankers Association of NCUA’s approvals of communitycharters to serve non-contiguous low-income communities, which thebankers say violates the Federal CU Act. The suit claims that onlymultiple group charters are allowed to add low-income communitiesunder the 1998 amendments to the FCU Act, known as HR 1151, the CUMembership Access Act. What’s more, the ABA claimsNCUA’s action allowing America First FCU to serve certainlow-income communities was undertaken to skirt last year’scourt ruling barring the Utah credit union giant from serving asix-county community. Federal Judge Dale Kimball, the judge whoruled against NCUA and America First FCU last year, is reviewingthe latest suit over low-income additions. In a statement issuedFriday afternoon, NCUA said it believes it is prudent to rescindAmerica First FCU’s low-income expansion and issue thetemporary moratorium on approving low-income expansions forcommunity chartered credit unions until the new court case isresolved.

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