Ohio Eyes CU Reform

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COLUMBUS, Ohio - (02/24/05) -- State chartered credit unions wouldobtain expanded powers to offer new services and ease operationalrestrictions under credit union reform bills introduced in thestate legislature last week. Separate bills introduced in the Houseand Senate would allow credit unions to: establish student-onlybranches in schools for the first time; offer check cashing andwire transfers to non-members within their fields of membership;expressly authorize the use of electronic commerce, like electronicstatements and digital signatures; and ease the state's parityrequirements by allowing the superintendent of banking to setparity with federal standards administratively, instead of throughthe laborious public hearing process. They also have severalinteresting provisions, like allowing a credit union to apply withthe Secretary of State to designate any person to act as a policeofficer at their premises, which is currently allowed for banks andsavings and loans. But the credit union lobby decided to eliminateseveral provisions that were in last year's bill because theyfeared those provisions could create barriers to final passage,like the ability to accept municipal deposits; establish trustdepartments; or offer secondary capital. "We just felt that itwasn't the right time for some of these things and decided to leavethem out," Kozlowski, told The Credit Union Journal. The billswould apply to Ohio's 220 state chartered credit unions.

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