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WALLINGFORD, Conn. – Credit unions in Connecticut will have the opportunity to learn the details about the state’s recently enacted new credit union law and how the law affects state and federal credit unions, at a briefing hosted by the Connecticut Credit Union Association June 26 at the Cromwell Radisson Hotel in Cromwell, Conn. Commissioner John Burke of the Department of Banking is expected to address attendees, and Howard Pitkin, administrator of depository institutions for the Department of Banking will go through a Powerpoint presentation highlighting some of the changes featured in the law. The new law, which CCUA President/CEO Kevin Stewart described as “far reaching, a complete rewrite and modernization of the state’s credit union law,” goes in to effect Oct. 1, 2002. It was signed in to law by Gov. John Rowland on June 3. Among the extensive changes the new law includes is a “superwild card provision” that allows a state-chartered credit union, with the approval of the banking department, to do anything permitted FCUs by the Federal Credit Union Act, as well as other state chartered CUs by their respective state’s credit union law. The law also: allows Connecticut SCCUs to obtain private share insurance; includes an expanded list of authorized instruments SCCUs can invest in such as common stock and corporate bonds; has expanded member business lending opportunities for SCCUs; includes various field-of-membership changes such as allowing SCCUs to add SEGs under 500 people with no approval required, and it eliminates the 3,000 person cap; and it allows SCCUs to offer trust accounts and sell insurance without going through a CUSO. So far, Stewart said 47 people representing 38 credit unions are expected to attend the briefing. “Considering there are 49 state-chartered credit unions in Connecticut now, I consider that a good turnout,” he said. Some federal credit unions are also planning to attend, Stewart added, an indication of the continued interest from federal credit unions headquartered in the state, to convert to state-chartered credit unions. Since 2000, five FCUs have converted to Connecticut state charters. There are two charter conversion applications pending. When the bill was being crafted, Stewart said CCUA submitted about 100 recommendations to Commissioner Burke’s office. He said credit unions ended up with about 80% of what they asked for. “We reached very far, knowing we wouldn’t get everything,” said Stewart. In the coming legislative session, he said there were some technical wording changes that CCUA wanted to deal with “on a technical correction basis.” Stewart said CCUA considered itself fortunate that Commissioner Burke introduced the bill for credit unions in the state legislature. The previous credit union law, he said, was a patchwork of things. “A couple of years ago, the banking law was modernized. Now it was credit unions’ turn,” said Stewart. [email protected]

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