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ALEXANDRIA, Va.-The credit union community started the year off by losing a handful of federal credit unions to state charters. Seven federal credit unions-Southern New England Financial ($254 million) in Conn.; Deere Community ($113 million) of Iowa; Capital Power ($41 million) in Calif.; Focus One Community ($70 million) in Los Angeles; Sterlent ($112 million) of Calif.; SafeAmerica Credit Union ($224 million) in Calif.; and Verity ($245 million) in Seattle-were approved for conversions to state charters during the month of January, according to NCUA, totaling more than $1 billion in assets. No insurance applications or conversions were made in the first month of the year. Meanwhile, the $1 million Charleston Postal Cooperative Credit Union in West Virginia switched to a federal charter. “NAFCU’s response to the flow of federal to state charters has been pretty consistent over the past few years and that is to spearhead in Congress and at NCUA legislative and regulatory changes respectively that enhance the federal charter,” NAFCU President and CEO Fred Becker said of the conversions. “An important new addition to these efforts will be the final FOM (field of membership) Manual that the NCUA Board will be considering soon.” In addition, one federal and two federally-insured state charter applications were approved in January. Credit unions are continuing to pile the underserved areas into their fields of membership, NCUA data showed. TRW Systems Federal Credit Union in California added four underserved areas in January, totaling nearly a million new potential members. In aggregate, 25 underserved area additions were approved for 14 federal credit unions for more than two million new potential members to start the year.

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