ALEXANDRIA, Va.-Five credit unions joined the ranks of the federal charter in September, according to NCUA monthly data. Stamford of Connecticut ($49.9 million) and $6.9 million Insurance Services in Region I converted to federal credit unions last month. Additionally, Railroad & Industrial ($133 million) of Tampa also became a federal credit union. Finally, two new federal credit unions, Cornerstone National Insurance Federal Credit Union (1,412 potential members) and Southside Community Federal Credit Union (853,392 potential members), were chartered in September. This year has been the first of several where the conversions from state to federal charters outpace the federal to state conversions. Recent changes at the federal regulatory level have begun to make the charter more appealing, while many state charters are faced with the threat of taxation at the state level and the IRS’ Unrelated Business Income Tax. The agency’s report also revealed high levels of activity in community charter conversions. NCUA approved 17 community conversions in September, representing the second highest level of these conversions in over two years. Credit unions converting to community charters added nearly nine million last month in potential members. Year-to-date figures show that 100 conversions have yielded nearly 46 million potential members. So far this year, credit unions have also added more than 19 million potential members through 212 underserved area additions. Nineteen additions occurred in September alone for 2.3 million potential members. Merger activity continued to thrive through September with 30 mergers, 23 of which included credit unions under $10 million in assets; just three were combined with another small credit union and remained under $10 million in assets. -

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