OAK RIDGE, Tenn. – ORNL Federal Credit Union here is enjoying an extraordinary burst in membership growth following publicity surrounding its field of membership expansion in December, the CU disclosed Friday. The $671 million ORNL, which is the largest CU in metropolitan Knoxville and the third largest in the state, said local interest in the CU's 16 county expansion increased markedly after a Dec. 19 announcement by the credit union that NCUA had approved the CU's application for a community charter, said a spokesman. "We recorded 1,400 new members in January and normally we get half that number," said Larry Jones, vice president of marketing and e-branch. December also posted healthy growth with 1,100 members. ORNL has 80,000 members and 12 branches plans. It plans to add four new branches this year, four in 2003 and three in 2005, said Jones.

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