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BISMARCK, N.D. – Appealing to her peers, the president of the $150 million Capital Credit Union, the state’s second largest, has urged CUs angry over a restrictive, new field of membership law to remain “in the credit union family” and avoid taking any drastic steps like converting to a mutual savings bank. “We do have unhappy credit unions in the family,” acknowledged Debra Gallagher, the Capital CEO who took part in heated deliberations this winter of the North Dakota Credit Union League regarding the law which for the first time replaces rulemaking procedures with a 75 mile branching limit. So far, of the four or five dissenters-who complain the law was foisted hastily on the League by bankers-only one, Dakota West CU of Watford City, has hinted at possible MSB conversion with a few saying they will be looking at a federal charter. But like a number of others in League ranks, Gallagher stresses that CUs upset over the Aug. 1 law do remain a distinct minority adding the League leadership led by Kermit Larsen, president/CEO, has worked hard to develop a workable FOM law. “We did the best we could,” said Gallagher adding the ideal would be for CUs to branch across “this entire, very rural state” an event that is not likely to occur. Gallagher, a member of the League’s Government Affairs Committee, emphasized the importance of North Dakota CUs staying united saying recent developments have been “unfortunate” expressing optimism that internal problems can be worked out. -

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