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WASHINGTON-CUNA President and CEO Dan Mica wrote NCUA Chairman Dennis Dollar in support of his comments at NAFCU’s 2002 Annual Conference. “As in the past, one of CUNA’s highest priorities is to pursue field of membership policies that provide credit unions the flexibility they need to reach out to new members, while continuing to serve existing members well,” the letter read. Mica noted that CUNA’s Federal Credit Union Subcommittee, chaired by GTE Federal Credit Union President Bucky Sebastian, will be supervising the trade association’s review of field of membership issues and will be providing recommendations in the coming weeks. Field of membership issues that came out of the Renaissance Commission were highlighted in the letter, including: * Allow credit unions to mix community, occupational and associational groups. *Eliminate the presumption that a group over 3,000 can and should form its own credit union. * Assure that a single sponsor credit union can permanently continue to serve groups spun off by the sponsor. * Leave it to each credit union as to how to define “family” and “household.” * Restore the regulator’s authority to approve voluntary mergers regardless of credit union size. * Allow a community credit union to serve select groups outside of the community. * Eliminate or revise the “reasonable proximity” test, given that technology has rendered geographic constraints meaningless. * If the “reasonable proximity” test remains, allow all credit unions operating from a shared service center to serve groups within “reasonable proximity” of the center, rather than only credit unions with at least a 5% ownership interest as currently allowed. * Eliminate the “well-defined, local” test for community credit unions. Mica acknowledged most of these require a statutory change and some are included in the Regulatory Relief Act (H.R. 3951) currently before Congress. “While the future of regulatory relief is uncertain this year, NCUA’s support has been very important and we want to coordinate with the agency as we move forward in advocating key legislative changes on Capitol Hill,” the former U.S. Congressman wrote.

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