The National Credit Union Administration wants to subject some credit unions to Community Reinvestment Act-like requirements.

A proposal issued last week would require community-based credit unions to serve all segments of their market. The agency would review membership data and loan-penetration rates to ensure compliance.

"An overall marketing strategy that primarily targets one segment, or select segments, of the community to the exclusion of others will not be acceptable," NCUA said.

A spokeswoman said the proposal would "put in writing" a long-standing, informal policy. Comments are due 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.

The agency also asked for comments on its controversial practice of allowing credit unions with overlapping memberships to sign agreements that prevent large credit unions from siphoning members from small ones. Comments are due 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.

Separately, the NCUA approved the conversion of BUCS Federal Credit Union to a federal thrift charter provided a majority of its members approve it.

The NCUA's go-ahead last week was the final regulatory hurdle for the credit union based in Owings Mills, Md., which was originally chartered to serve Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Maryland. The Office of Thrift Supervision approved the conversion in late September.

The nearly 13,000 members of BUCS are expected to cast their votes early next year.

BUCS was one of five credit unions to apply for thrift charters after a federal judge last year barred occupation-based federal credit unions from accepting new groups of members. The OTS approved a request by Affiliated Federal Credit Union of Hurst, Tex., in early October. The other three applications are pending.

The NCUA also approved applications by three credit unions to convert from occupational to community charters. They are: Mountain Empire Federal Credit Union in Marion, Va.; Meridian (Miss.) Mutual Federal Credit Union; and WesTex Federal Credit Union in Lubbock, Texas.

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