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NCUA Board Likely To OK Overseas Branches

ALEXANDRIA, Va.-The NCUA board is expected this week to approve a final rule that will extend overseas branching abilities to all federally insured credit unions. The rule, modeled after the FDIC's standards for banks, will include several conditions before a credit union is allowed to open a branch in another country, including approval from the host country's regulators, NCUA regional director, and any relevant state regulators in the U.S., as well as a comprehensive business plan, an NCUA source told The Credit Union Journal. The rule will allow deposits accepted in overseas branches to be insured by NCUSIF under certain circumstances. Defense credit unions, which generally operate overseas branches on U.S. military installations, are currently the only credit unions allowed to establish branches overseas.

Utah FOM Expansion Request Being Eyed

ALEXANDRIA, Va.-In a case being watched closely by three large credit unions fleeing the Utah tax threat, the NCUA Board this week will review an application from Tooele FCU to expand its community charter to serve five more Utah counties, allowing it to cover almost half the state's 2.5 million population. The $135 million credit union currently serves Tooele County and is seeking to add Davis, Morgan, Salt Lake, Summit and Webber counties to its field of membership. The FOM bid is being watched closely by America First CU, Mountain America CU and Goldenwest CU, the three credit unions targeted by this year's unsuccessful credit union tax bill which have all applied to NCUA to convert to federal charter CUA officials said they are working with the credit unions, all of which serve multiple counties under their current state charters, to have them qualify for federal charters. The NCUA board will also review applications from Members 1st FCU, Mechanicsburg, Pa., to serve about 1.1-million residents in six surrounding Pennsylvania counties; and from Aberdeen Proving Grounds (Md.) FCU, to serve 400,000 residents in two surrounding counties.

Charter For New FCU Granted

ALEXANDRIA, Va.-NCUA said last week it has granted a charter to the Firemen's Association of the State of New York for a credit union to serve members and employees of the Albany, N.Y.-based group. FASNY FCU is the sixth new credit union chartered so far this year. The credit union has a potential membership of 12,000.

EDS Continues To Shed Assets

PLANO, Texas-Electronic Data Systems Corp. said last week it has continued to shed assets in an effort to raise capital. The computer services giant said it completed the sale of its subscription fulfillment business to AMREP's Kable News Co. unit for $10 million and sold its portfolio of technology holdings to a group led by venture firm Thomas Weisel Partners. The company did not say which technology stocks were included in the sale or the price DS announced its intention last year to sell off non-core assets to help raise cash. That effort included last fall's sale of its vast electronic funds networking unit to Fiserv for $320 million.

Fiserv Expands Into Benefits

BROOKFIELD, Wis.-Fiserv Inc. said last week it has agreed to acquire Wausau Benefits, a third-party employee benefits administrator, and created a new business group to capitalize on the continuing growth in the employee health plan administration business.

The Fiserv Health Solutions Group will coordinate the company's operations in the area, created by five separate acquisitions since 2001, including the Wausau deal.

As a result, Fiserv has five national brands for health administration: Benefit Planners, Benesight, Fiserv Health, Harrington Benefit Services, and Wausau Benefits. The units offer health plan management, pharmacy benefits management, and business process outsourcing services.

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