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SEATTLE-According to NCUA Chairman Dennis Dollar, speaking to the NAFCU Annual Conference, the agency plans to have a new field of membership proposal out for comment by the end of the year. “With appropriate time for the commenters to be heard and your views evaluated, my goal is to see a new field of membership manual approved by the end of the first quarter of 2003,” the chairman said. In order to achieve this, NCUA will maintain four priorities other than the time frame. The agency will remain within the letter and the spirit of H.R. 1151′s restrictions in this area. NCUA will continue to hold high safety and soundness standards in formulating the new rules, keeping in mind that “it is impossible to separate safety and soundness from the ability of credit unions to compete in a fast-changing marketplace,” Dollar said. The agency will also seek ways to further streamline the SEG approval process. Finally, the regulator will keep in mind that federal credit unions will flee the charter if they cannot grow within it. One theme across each of the speeches of the NCUA Board members was enhancing the federal charter.

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