Requests by three credit unions to serve a four-county, 850,000-resident area in upstate New York were denied Thursday.

The National Credit Union Administration ruled that $274 million-asset Mid-Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union, Kingston; $1 billion-asset Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union; and $76 million-asset TEG Federal Credit Union, both of Poughkeepsie, had failed to prove that the four-county area is a single, integrated community.

The vote upheld an earlier decision by the agency's regional staff. It also won praise from 12 credit unions located in the area and from America's Community Bankers, which argued in a July 7 letter that the counties are already well served.

NCUA Chairman Norman E. D'Amours and board member Yolanda Townsend Wheat voted against the expansion, while board member Dennis Dollar voted to approve the applications.

In another decision Thursday the NCUA voted 2-to-0 to let $37 million- asset Gulfport (Miss.) VA Federal Credit Union offer services to 220,000 residents of a two-county area.

Gulfport's application was the first to be considered by the board under new rules associated with the 1998 credit union law. Mr. Dollar, Gulfport's former president, abstained.

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