LOS ANGELES – Water & Power FCU was approved by the California Department of Financial Institutions to convert to a state charter. Water & Power FCU, one of the largest credit unions in the city, has $330 million in assets and serves nearly 35,000 members. Kayleen Leone, senior vice president of operations for the credit union, said current California state laws and regulations governing credit unions are supportive of membership growth and strategically sound mergers. While federal regulations permit overlapping fields-of-membership subject to policy consideration or altogether do not consider overlapping FOM when the group in question is 200 or less, California laws and state regulations permit overlaps without any restrictions. "A state credit union charter will allow Water & Power FCU the opportunity to continue with its historically steady, conservative growth pattern because it will be able to expand its field-of-membership," Leone said. Water & Power FCU has not yet decided on a new name when the conversion is approved by its membership, but it will drop the word "federal." In another California federal-to-state charter conversion move, the state Department of Financial Institutions approved the charter conversion of American First FCU, La Habra. The $426 million credit union which serves more than 65,000 members will be known as American First Credit Union.

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