WASHINGTON - A federal judge has rejected most of a banking industry lawsuit that sought to overturn broad membership rules for credit unions.

At issue is a 1998 law that would let federally chartered credit unions with multiple "common bonds," or membership groups, serve unrelated companies or associations provided they have fewer than 3,000 members. The law, a major defeat for the banking industry, overturned a Supreme Court decision earlier that year that would have severely restricted expansion of the nonprofit financial institutions.

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