A federal appeals court has handed the American Bankers Association another victory in its bid to prevent regulators from approving credit unions that serve employees from more than one company.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia said the ABA can immediately seek an order from the trial court in North Carolina requiring the National Credit Union Administration to dissolve about 2,000 occupation-based credit unions that serve employees at multiple companies.

Courts rarely expedite cases, preferring to give the losing party at least 45 days to appeal. The court did not explain why it decided to move so quickly in this case.

But the decision was hailed by the ABA. "Justice delayed is justice denied," said Michael Crotty, the ABA's deputy general counsel. "The court of appeals has assured us that justice will not be delayed any longer."

NCUA spokesman Robert Loftus said his agency is prepared to fight the ABA at the trial court. But he declined to elaborate; "We intend to pursue this case in the courts and not in the press," he said.

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