JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Missouri appears headed for enactment of a compromise field of membership law that puts limits on branch expansion beyond contiguous counties, but also is expected to end years of litigation in state courts.
In the most recent legislative developments, the state Senate overwhelmingly adopted the much-amended FOM bill, which is slated to go before the House Financial Institutions Committee later this month.
For more than six months and under pressure from state lawmakers to come up with a compromise, the credit union and banking lobbies have been engaged in extensive negotiations over language in the FOM bill and definitions over "geographic areas" of CU expansion.
The proposed bill, with passage by the full House a strong likelihood, restricts CUs to home counties and contiguous counties including mergers except for limits on new members when a SEG adopts a new "geographic area." Also SEG groups of 3,000 or more must consider starting another CU before joining an existing one.
In addition, FOM bids will be posted weekly on the Division of Credit Unions' Web site. Expansions prior to 1998 will be grandfathered, but restrictions are placed on those after that date.
On its Web site this month the Missouri Credit Union Association noted that the FOM compromise should put to rest the numerous lawsuits filed by the banking lobby in courts here and elsewhere across the state against CU expansion dating back to 2001.
"There have been dozens of revisions to this bill and constant meetings among the association staff and banking representatives and now we at last have a compromise bill," said an MCUA spokeswoman.
The House Financial Institutions Committee is slated to hold its first hearing perhaps next week, said the spokeswoman. Slated to testify before the House Financial Services Committee will be Rosie Holub, president/CEO of MCUA. --firstname.lastname@example.org