<p>HARTFORD, Conn. – Southern New England FCU in New Haven has applied to the state Department of Banking to convert to a state charter with a proposed four-county field-of-membership that includes 2.7 million residents in Hartford, Middlesex, New Haven and Fairfield counties. Department of Banking spokesman Dave Tedeski said on the CU's application, SNEFCU gave as the primary reasons for wanting to convert to a state charter: Connecticut's laws and regulations were more supportive of membership growth and expansion; more merger opportunities as a state charter; and the regulatory fees as a state charter were less than NCUA's fees for federal credit unions. If SNEFCU's application is approved, it will be the largest community FOM granted a credit union by the Department yet. In November 2000, the former Sikorsky FCU was approved to convert to a state charter with a FOM that included 2.5 million residents. Sikorsky Financial CU's federal-to-state charter conversion was the first for Connecticut. Since then, the Department of Banking approved four other former federal credit unions to convert to state charters. Besides Southern New England FCU's pending application, the Credit Union Division of the Connecticut Department of Banking has one other federal-to-state application open in its files – Middlesex FCU applied to convert to a state charter April 25. There are 50 state-chartered credit unions and 131 FCUs in Connecticut. There are also seven out-of-state CUs that have branches in Connecticut.</p>

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