to a mutual savings bank charter. The Office of Thrift Supervision on Nov. 17 approved the application, and the Peterborough, N.H., institution goes before the National Credit Union Administration board on Dec. 14. Attorneys representing the $10.1 million-assset institution expect the NCUA to give the application the nod. "We're quite confident," said James S. Fleischer, a senior partner with Washington-based Silver, Freedman & Taff. "We don't anticipate any difficulties receiving all regulatory approvals." "If the notification to the membership is adequate, we'd let it go," said NCUA executive director Karl Hoyle. Assuming it gets approval from the NCUA, state regulators, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the credit union will put the plan to a membership vote. No ballot date has yet been set, Mr. Fleischer said. Awane applied for a mutual charter in December 1994, and since then has made modifications to its proposal, Mr. Fleischer said. The credit union is seeking a charter conversion because it feels it can operate more effectively as a thrift, Mr. Fleischer said. Unlike most credit unions, which focus on consumer lending, the bulk of Awane's $6.1 million loan portfolio is secured by residential - and a little commercial - real estate. Earlier this year NCUA approved the first conversion of a credit union to a thrift when it permitted Lusitania Federal Credit Union to become Lusitania Savings Bank.

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