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ALVIN, Texas – The $64 million Chocolate Bayou Community FCU has taken a step that it hopes will make sure that its membership has a strong and active voice in any charter conversion which might be contemplated. The credit union has passed a bylaw change that mandates that any move to convert the institution’s charter away from being a credit union must originate in the membership and be approved at a special meeting called for that purpose even before the credit union submits any conversion plan for approval or member vote. The bylaw amendment reads: “The Board of Directors shall not consider a conversion to a non-credit union without the request of its membership made at a special meeting of the membership called in accordance with the provisions set forth in these bylaws.” “We wanted to make sure that the membership is duly informed about any possible conversion,” explained Gary Davis, CEO of Chocolate Bayou and chairman of the Texas Credit Union League. “Now anyone who wants to convert the credit union will have to find someone in the membership to initiate the idea and then go through a petition drive to get the needed signatures for the special meeting.” Davis also noted that by passing the amendment, the credit union hoped to set an example for credit unions which have been critical of the Texas League for not doing enough on the issue. “Now they can see a way they can have a direct impact on this issue in their own credit unions,” he said. Davis said that he had not received much reaction to the amendment since NCUA had only recently approved it and his board had only just passed it. NCUA said no other credit union had yet applied to have the agency approve the change.

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