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ALEXANDRIA, Va.-NCUA’s June board meeting covered several items that have been typical of the agency’s meetings lately, including a community charter conversion and technical amendments to slightly outdated regs. The NCUA Board unanimously approved the conversion of Avon Refinery Federal Credit Union from a multiple-group charter to a community charter serving the northeastern region of Contra Costa County, Calif. The area’s estimated 2000 population totaled 346,950, which exceeded the regional directors authority to grant approval. According to region officials, however, they believed the proposed field of membership to be a well-defined local community based on the fact that there is one major trade area, shared government services, commonly shared facilities and events, and an area newspaper. They added that the central element to defining the community is the 20-mile long stretch of Highway 4, which is home to many shops and other facilities. The Board Action Memorandum also stated that the federal credit union was operationally capable of handling the new field of membership. Upon questioning by Board Member Geoff Bacino during the board meeting, Regional Director Bob Blatner divulged that the field of membership expansion covers an area well below the median income of the surrounding areas. In another field of membership case, Corporate One Federal Credit Union requested to amend its federal charter to clarify that it does have a federal charter, that the subsidiaries of its members are also eligible, and the types of institutions eligible for membership at the corporate. It also asked to expand its membership by adding the term “affiliate” to all membership clauses. The board approved the measure by a 3 to 0 vote. Though she voted in favor of the changes, Board Member Yolanda Wheat raised the issue of whether coming to the board with this was really necessary, because she felt the provision was not necessary. She added that this instance should not be taken as a precedent that will be required of other corporates and that the changes were at the corporate credit union’s request. With the passage of the Electronic Signatures in Global and National (E-Sign) Commerce Act, federal regulators are scrambling to update their rules to place electronic signatures on an equal playing field with actual hand-written ones. At the June board meeting, the NCUA Board members unanimously approved amendments to its regulation promulgated under the Truth in Savings Act to allow credit union members, if they choose, to receive Truth in Savings disclosures electronically. NCUA is just following in the footsteps of the Federal Reserve Board, which created its rule back in April. The other federal financial institutions regulators are required to develop their rules within 90 days of the Fed’s. The rule created uniform standards for timing and electronic delivery of disclosures required under Truth in Savings and the Fed’s Reg DD, as well as addressing electronic advertisements. As a final touch to a rather boilerplate meeting, the NCUA Board approved several technical amendments to many of its regulations as a matter of housekeeping. Every year the agency reviews one-third of its regulations for technical errors or changes, according to Deputy Director of the Office of Examination and Insurance Herb Yolles. “The most significant message of this is that the review process goes down to the minutiae,” Acting NCUA Chairman Dennis Dollar said. -

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