TIP Charter Is Starting To Take Hold As Basis For FOM

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The TIP charters introduced by NCUA in 2003 began to take hold last year, with 10 federal credit unions opting for the broader field of membership that covers entire trades, industries and professions, and several states adopting the new charter, as well.

NCUA continued to offer a hand to credit unions serving the beleaguered airlines industry by granting new TIP charters in 2004 to Continental FCU, based in El Segundo, Calif., serving employees of Continental Airlines, as well as FAA FCU, to serve all of the air transportation industry in the U.S.

Spreading Their Wings

The new charters will allow the two credit unions to spread their wings and compete with the credit unions for American (American Airlines FCU), United (Alliant CU), and Northwest (Wings Financial FCU) airlines-all granted TIP charters in 2003-across the air transportation industry in the U.S.

NCUA also approved one of its broadest community charters ever for a fifth airlines credit union last year, US Airways FCU (now Clearview FCU), to serve three-million people in greater Pittsburgh.

Ironically, the TIPs charter had its derivation in the 2000 federal court ruling approving NCUA's new field of membership rules over the objections of the American Bankers Association. In that ruling, U.S. Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly suggested that credit unions could continue to adhere to the concept of common bond-eroded significantly over the past few decades by the multiple groups policy-by serving entire trades, industries or professions. That led to NCUA's adoption of the TIP charter.

Last year also saw the introduction of TIP charters by several states, based on parity provisions with federal law allowing state-chartered credit unions to do what federal charters may do. In Minnesota, the Star Tribune Employees CU, one of the few single-sponsor credit unions, was granted a TIP charter to serve all people working in the information media profession throughout the state of Minnesota. And in Massachusetts, Graphics Arts CU (since merged), which served select groups affiliated with the printing industry in Massachusetts, was approved for a TIP charter to serve all employees in the printing industry in New England.

Meanwhile, last week state regulators in Connecticut reported that Hartford Healthcare CU has applied to convert from a multiple group-based charter to a TIP charter serving everyone affiliated with the healthcare industry in the state's largest counties of Fairfield, Hartford, Middlesex, New Haven and New London.

Also Moving To TIP Charters

Several other federal credit unions were granted TIP charters last year by NCUA. They included five granted to serve broad population areas in the healthcare industry: GFH Employees FCU, Glen Falls, N.Y., to serve all healthcare workers and independent healthcare contractors in three upstate New York counties; OhioHealth FCU, Columbus, Ohio, to serve all healthcare workers in eight Ohio counties; Schumpert FCU, Shreveport, La., to serve all healthcare workers in eight Louisiana parishes; Norwest Medical FCU, Portland, Ore., to serve healthcare workers in three Oregon and two Washington counties; and Providence Health Systems FCU, Portland, Ore., to serve healthcare workers statewide in both Oregon and Washington.

Also granted TIP charters by NCUA last year were: Southeast Michigan State Employees FCU, Southfield, Mich., to serve all employees in state and local governments in eight Michigan counties; and Omaha Police FCU, Omaha, Neb., to serve law enforcement agencies in seven Nebraska and one Iowa counties.

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