To make it easier for employer-based credit unions to convert to community charters, the National Credit Union Administration board on Thursday eliminated a requirement that they demonstrate local support.

The board also delayed until Feb. 25 a vote on a more controversial plan to impose Community Reinvestment Act-like requirements on community-based credit unions.

Members wanted more time to study that proposal, said an NCUA spokesman.

In other action, the board approved new measures to protect institutions from the year-2000 computer glitch.

The plan was a response to recent criticism by lawmakers and the General Accounting Office that the agency had not done enough to make sure credit unions stave off computer breakdowns.

NCUA's plan sets target dates for completing each phase of its year-2000 project. For instance, institutions must begin testing any necessary changes to their computer systems by July 31 of this year and complete the testing by Dec. 31; the changes have to be operational by Sept. 30, 1999.

Institutions that missed those goals could face NCUA cease-and-desist orders or fines, or even be put under conservatorship.

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