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ALEXANDRIA, Va.-NCUA approved a number of very large community charters this year, including the largest ever. LA Financial Federal Credit Union was approved in July to serve all of Los Angeles County in August, encompassing 10.1 million residents. Los Angeles County had the highest population of any county in the United States as of January 2004. The $300 million credit union stated that 28% of California’s residents live in the county. It is 4,084 square miles, 800 miles more than Delaware and Rhode Island combined. The approval was done at the regional level since NCUA changed its rules to permit presumed communities, like a single county, to be reviewed by the region. The bankers were outraged by the approval and were vocal about it. NCUA also approved Desert Schools Federal Credit Union for an area of 3.1 million; Clearview Federal Credit Union (formerly US Airways Federal Credit Union) for an area of 2.7 million; US Federal Credit Union for an area of 2.6 million; Nassau County Federal Credit Union for an area of 1.3 million; IBM Texas Employees Federal Credit Union and Austin TELCO Federal Credit Union for the same field of membership with 1.25 million residents; Jefferson County Federal Credit Union and L&N Federal Credit Union for the same field of membership of 1.05 million; and Fairfax County Federal Credit Union for an area with just over one million residents. The bankers are keeping close tabs on these approvals. They recently won, in part, a case in Utah questioning the applications of NCUA’s rules regarding the `local’ community aspect. -

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