SAFE Given The OK To Expand To 12 Counties

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The $1-billion SAFE Credit Union has been approved for a community charter expansion that doubles the number of Northern California counties it can serve to 12, extending presence in the outlying Sierra Nevada foothills and extending its reach into the eastern San Francisco Bay Area.

The California Department of Financial Institutions approved the charter expansion in time for the start of 2004. The new counties are Amador, Butte, Nevada, San Joaquin, Solano and Contra Costa. They join SAFE's existing service area of Sacramento, El Dorado, Placer, Sutter, Yolo and Yuba counties.

SAFE said its enlarged service area is home to an estimated 4.4 million residents, according to 2002 census figures. But the actual number of potential members is far higher because membership is open to anyone who lives, works, or worships within the 12-county region. The three largest new counties by population are San Joaquin County, in the heart of California's Central Valley, and the eastern San Francisco Bay counties of Solano and Contra Costa.

Established in 1940, SAFE Credit Union currently serves more than 104,000 members through 12 branches.

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