Number of potential members added in underserved areas rises as areas adopted declines.
ALEXANDRIA, Va.-While the number of credit unions adopting underserved areas has declined in the last three years, the number of potential members added in these areas has increased. According to NCUA's Insurance Reports of Activity, the number of potential members adopted in underserved areas in 2004 outpaced totals from 2002 and 2003. The 27.4 million potential members added through 240 underserved areas adopted by 139 credit unions last year exceeded those in the previous two years. In 2003, 170 credit unions adopted 269 areas encompassing 25 million potential members and, the year before that, 224 credit unions adopted 425 underserved areas with 23.6 million residents. During the month of December 2004 alone, 18 underserved areas were approved for 13 federal credit unions serving nearly five million potential members. Teacher Federal Credit Union in Golden Valley Minn. added two underserved areas in December totaling 669,769 potential members. Security Service Federal Credit Union ($2.3 billion) added 544,636 potential members through the adoption of an underserved area. L&N Federal Credit Union in Louisville, Ky. added five underserved areas for 346,998 potential members. Even tiny Bushwick Cooperative Federal Credit Union ($2.5 million) in Brooklyn, N.Y. adopted an underserved area with 143,867 potential members in December. However, the largest underserved area went to Philadelphia Federal Credit Union, which adopted the entire city of Philadelphia (1.5 million residents) as an underserved area. Community charter conversions were considerably slower in 2004 than 2003. Last year, just 84 credit unions converted to community charters adding 52 million potential members. In 2003, 140 credit unions made the switch adding 74 million potential members. High Desert Federal Credit Union in Apple Valley, Calif. ($125 million) was approved for a community charter expansion adding 1.8 potential members. Two more credit unions, both from the health care industry, were approved for TIP charters last month. G F H Federal Credit Union of Glens Falls, N.Y., with $13 million in assets, was approved to serve the health care industry of Warren, Washington, and Saratoga counties in New York. Additionally, $28 million OhioHealth Federal Credit Union, located in Columbus, was given the green light to serve the industry in an eight county area. The cold winter weather did not slow mergers between credit unions in the month of December with 32 approved. Of those, six of the merged credit unions held more than $10 million in assets while 13 were under $10 million and another 13 fell below the $1 million mark. The largest credit union to merge was $44 million asset Eagle Country Federal Credit Union in Crystal Falls, Mich. with Covantage Credit Union ($430 million) in Antigo, Wis. and Midland Area Federal Credit Union (Mich.) at $20 million in assets with Communications Family Credit Union in Saginaw, Mich. ($402 million). The smallest to disappear was First A.M.E. Zion Federal Credit Union in Columbus, Ohio with $121,244 in assets, which merged with $216 million Kemba Financial Credit Union, also of Columbus. In addition, $131,617 asset-G.B.C.G. Federal Credit Union in Philadelphia merged with Philadelphia Federal Credit Union, while $148,717 Utah Peavey Employees Federal Credit Union in Salt Lake City merged with Weber Credit Union in Ogden, Utah. One credit union converted from a state to federal charter, while another went the other direction. USA Credit Union ($585 million) converted from federal to state charter in December and Nashville, Tennessee's Southeast Financial, with $199 million in assets, became a federal credit union. -firstname.lastname@example.org