The National Credit Union Administration has rejected the idea of coordinating its conference on reaching poor communities with 1996 convention of the industry's largest trade group.

Early last month the agency invited representatives of the Credit Union National Association and other groups to its headquarters to discuss holding the conference in conjunction with the big trade group's convention in Philadelphia.

But on Sept. 28, the NCUA board voted to hold its conference Aug. 9-11 in Chicago, and it budgeted just over $300,000 for the event.

The regulator decided to go solo partly out of fear that its conference would be overshadowed by the association convention, according to a September memo by Peter F. Majka, director of the agency's Office of Community Development Credit Unions.

The NCUA turned down the offer because its conference "would lose individual identity" and "look like it was tacked on the CUNA meeting," the memo said.

The agency still wants some cooperation from trade groups, however. NCUA Chairman Norman E. D'Amours has said he hopes associations will provide funds so that officials of community development credit unions, who might not otherwise afford the trip, can attend.

Despite being snubbed, CUNA and other associations have indicated they are willing to help somehow.

"We are confident that member-owned, not-for-profit credit unions will have a positive, lasting impact on people in need and communities in distress," CUNA president Ralph Swoboda said in a statement. "We believe NCUA's symposium is one of a number of activities that will help the credit union movement toward that end."

The conference fits into Mr. Amours agenda of improving credit union services to poor and other "unbanked" communities.

Convention topics include improving services to all sectors of credit union membership, reaching out to poor communities, and chartering new credit unions.

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