The long-awaited final showdown in the credit union common bond dispute with the banking industry will occur Oct. 6, the Supreme Court said Friday.

"We are delighted," said Michael F. Crotty, deputy general counsel for litigation at American Bankers Association. "The early scheduling of the argument suggests an early decision in the case. We expect to win, so the sooner we get a decision the better."

"We are excited and pleased to be the first case on the first day," said Brenda S. Furlow, deputy general counsel at the Credit Union National Association. "We think it is an important case for American consumers and the financial services industry."

In 1990, the ABA challenged the National Credit Union Administration's authority to allow occupation-based credit unions to serve employees from multiple companies. Two federal appeals courts have sided with the banks, ruling that all members of a credit union must share a common bond.

A decision is expected in December or January.

Separately, the Justice Department has intervened in a court fight between the California Credit Union League and the city of Anaheim to protect credit union officials traveling on business from local hotel taxes.

The Supreme Court in June overturned a federal appeals court ruling against the Los Angeles suburb, saying the dispute should be heard in state court because the federal government was not a party to the litigation.

Justice's decision last week to enter the case, however, means the credit union league may avoid state court and return to federal court, where a trial judge and an appeals court already have ruled in the industry's favor.

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