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SALEM, Ore. – Oregon is shopping for a new top credit union regulator following the retirement of Floyd Lanter, whose outspoken advocacy on CU payday loan products nearly two years ago raised industry eyebrows. Aides to Democratic Gov. Ted Kulongoski said the goal now is to find a replacement by January for Lanter who left as administrator of the Oregon Division of Finance and Corporate Securities Oct. 1. The departure of Lanter, a former FDIC examiner who joined the agency five years ago, was “somewhat of a surprise,” commented one industry insider. Lanter, whose agency supervises both banks and CUs, had long maintained that CUs – because of their non-profit structure and particularly those with community charters – were obliged to offer alternative payday products though they shouldn’t “go broke.” At one point, Lanter warned Oregon CUs that his office might turn down branch applications by community charters if they failed to provide payday products. Later Lanter, in working with the Credit Union Association of Oregon, praised the industry for introducing new payday alternatives or promoting existing short-term loan products. As it has in other states, proliferation of payday shops has rankled Oregon lawmakers with an Interim Payday Loan Committee of the legislature set to hold hearings next year. Meanwhile, Cory Streisinger, director of the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services, which oversees Lanter’s division, said her office plans to conduct “an open nationwide search” for Lanter’s replacement. Serving as interim head of Lanter’s division is David Tatman, who has been a deputy director and chief enforcement officer. Tatman told Credit Union Times Oregon CUs continue to fulfill their mission in serving the underserved by providing the payday products. He said he was pleased to hear “some of the commentators discussing progress” on payday products during CUAO’s annual meeting three weeks ago. In the current environment, “credit unions face a number of challenges,” Tatman observed citing reg relief, CURIA and banker attacks. “There is that Utah lawsuit,” said Tatman pointing to the latest American Bankers Association court challenge against NCUA filed three weeks ago in a Salt Lake federal district court to block America First FCU of Ogden on underserved branches. His office, said Tatman, does steer clear “of those turf battles” between banks and CUs. Pam Leavitt, senior vice president of governmental affairs for CUAO, said she and other staffers from the trade group hoped to meet with state officials late last week regarding Lanter’s successor. “We are glad we’ve been invited to offer some input on the selection process to ensure the individual understands credit unions,” said Leavitt. [email protected]

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