The House approved the credit union legislation Tuesday, and President Clinton issued a statement saying he would sign it into law.

"This bill ensures that consumers continue to have a broad array of choices in financial services, and when Congress sends me this bill, I will sign it," he said.

In an anticlimactic finish to a lobbying war between banks and credit unions, the House passed the legislation on a voice vote after perfunctory debate. The law will overturn a Feb. 25 Supreme Court decision that members of occupation-based credit unions must share a single, common bond.

"If the Supreme Court decision had been allowed to stand, not only could millions of credit union members been kicked out of their financial institution," Banking Committee Chairman Jim Leach said on the House floor, "but the safety and soundness of the entire credit union system would have been jeopardized."

The House first approved this legislation in April on a 411-to-8 vote, but had to vote again yesterday because of changes made in the Senate. In its 92-to-6 vote last week, the Senate added capital requirements and business lending limits for credit unions. The Senate also stripped community reinvestment requirements for credit unions from the House bill and eased restrictions on the conversions of credit unions to thrifts.

The Clinton administration opposed removing the mandate that credit unions serve people of modest means, but a spokesman said the Senate action was not enough to draw a veto. Under the bill, a credit union would be able to serve any company outside its original charter, provided it has fewer than 3,000 employees.

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