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SEATTLE – Members of Credit Union of the Pacific have voted overwhelmingly to approve converting to a federally chartered thrift institution, President and Chief Executive Officer Laurie Stewart has reported. Following a special meeting of members at the conclusion of mail balloting on Oct. 15, Stewart said 77% of those voting were in favor of the conversion. About 18% of the credit union’s 17,000 members cast ballots. Mail balloting had begun in July. A majority of those voting cast ballots by mail. Stewart noted that most credit union votes only attract a small turnout of members. Only a majority of those voting were needed to approve the conversion, she said. CU of the Pacific is still awaiting regulatory approval to make the switch and for coverage by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. “We anticipate that will all go very smoothly,” Stewart said. “It’s highly likely that we’ll continue and get approval.” The conversion, which the credit union said it needed to be more competitive, is expected to be completed by late this year or early in 2003, she said. Once approved, CU of the Pacific plans to change its name to Sound Community Bank. In an interview earlier this year with CU Times, Stewart said the conversion process was driven by competitive pressures and a desire to “expand our product line particularly in the area of real estate. . .” Stewart said she expected the conversion would have little effect on members. “Certainly the experience of other credit unions that have converted is that the membership has stayed and prospered as a result of that conversion and we certainly would have that expectation of our members,” she said. [email protected]

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