Colo. Query: What Happened to FOM Apps?
The year is starting out slow for credit union expansion in Colorado. "There seems to be a general wait-and-see attitude--concern over Dodd Frank, corporate resolution, cost issues and maybe even fallout from the election," said the state's top regulator, Chris Myklebust, on Monday.
Indeed, the Colorado Division of Financial Services processed only one major field of membership application at its most recent Jan. 7 meeting of the division board, Myklebust said. "I think October was the shortest meeting on record," he added.
One noteworthy FOM application approved Jan. 7 was on a bid by the $1.2 billion Westerra CU of Denver to expand into two additional counties, Adams and Douglas, covering metro Denver.
In a statement, Westerra expressed gratitude at the approval of its application allowing the Denver CU to begin serving a five-county metro area, encompassing a population of 2.3 million.
Processing of the Westerra application went smoothly "with no opposition from bankers or credit unions," said Myklebust, who said the Westerra FOM bid was the only one on the agenda, underscoring apparent industry caution.
"I suspect many credit union managers just want to sit back and see what kind of regulations are forthcoming" before embarking on expansion ventures, he said.
As for the Westerra application, the Denver CU said initially it expects to begin marketing through an existing shared branching network "as we explore opportunities for branch locations" in the two counties. There are already 10 service center locations in Douglas County and 21 in Adams County, Westerra noted.