A judge in Utah has ruled that state-chartered community credit unions may not serve geographic areas larger than a single county.

The decision by state Judge William A. Thorne is a victory for the Utah Bankers Association, which sued Utah regulators in 1993 for giving some credit unions permission to serve people statewide.

"This is not a bank versus credit union issue," said Howard Headlee, president of the banker group. "This is an issue of a few financial institutions that have not been playing by the rules. By enforcing the rules, we will preserve a free and fair financial market for Utahans."

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