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At the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues’ Annual Meeting and Convention in Las Vegas earlier this month, attendees cheered the National Credit Union Administration for making several changes to field of membership rules that expanded options for Americans to join a credit union. NCUA finalized some rules and proposed further changes. Meanwhile, the Independent Community Bankers of America have made noises about a lawsuit. ICBA already filed suit against NCUA for its recent member business lending rule.
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Patrick Miller, president and CEO, CBC FCU, Oxnard, Calif.
I love the proposed changes. I don’t think there should be any limitations on credit unions’ ability to attract consumers. Banks are not limited. We were created by legislation, so we have to go to legislators to make changes to our business model – which is why we have just 10% market share. Any threats of a suit is just another example of banks bashing credit unions.
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Jennifer Oliver, president and CEO, South Bay CU, Redondo Beach, Calif.
We need to remember that just because you can serve a larger community does not mean you can serve it well. There are still opportunities for credit unions to find a niche and serve it well. A lot of credit unions just open their doors and expect members to walk in. Overall, I am glad NCUA is making changes because credit unions as a whole still have not reached our full potential.
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Ralph Ruiz, president and CEO, ILWU CU, Wilmington, Calif.
I am happy with the new rule. We are a state charter, so it does not affect us right now, but we have discussed moving to a federal charter if we wanted to expand. We have some potential opportunities in other states, so a TIP charter would help us. The ability to add contractors would help us.
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Joe Schroeder, president and CEO, Ventura County CU, Ventura, Calif.
The best part about it is for the state charters that were ahead of NCUA. I have to say, hats off to the new chairman [Rick Metsger] – he listens. He has done a lot in a short time. He realizes his job is not to placate the banks. I am a state charter, so it will lead to more competition from federal charters, but I will just sharpen my skills. Competition is good.
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Ray Crouse, president and CEO, Parsons FCU, Pasadena, Calif.
We are a single-sponsor credit union; we work with Parsons Corporation worldwide, so it does not have a direct impact on us. However, when I called NCUA recently with a membership question I found the agency was a lot more willing to talk to us compared to the past. They were very nice, very accommodating. I support the rule, especially since down the road we might have the desire to change.
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Sylvia Granger, VP of retail services, CommonWealth Central CU, San Jose, Calif.
I support any rule that allows credit unions to add membership. We started as a teachers’ credit union but switched to a community charter in 1998.
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Diana Dykstra, president and CEO, California and Nevada CU Leagues, Ontario, Calif.
It has been more than 20 years since the last modernization of field of membership rules – the world changes and it is time. I applaud the agency for modernizing the rule. It stayed within Congressional intent. I think it is a positive, but of course the bankers will try to attack it. Some think it will help large credit unions, but it really helps those in rural areas.

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