SCRANTON, Pa.-The schedule of briefings has been set in the American Bankers Association’s lawsuit against NCUA challenging its approval of a multiple-county community charter for $1 billion Members 1st Federal Credit Union. The ABA’s first brief will be due May 2, as set by U.S. District Court Judge Yvette Kane. NCUA and the other parties to the case, including CUNA, NAFCU, the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association, Members 1st FCU, Americhoice FCU and New Cumberland FCU must respond by May 22. Americhoice FCU ($100 million) and New Cumberland FCU ($78.5 million) were subsequently approved for the same field of membership. ABA then has until June 12 to reply to the defendants’ response. On April 12, there was a teleconference between the parties and the court to outline the scope and standard review and the scope of discovery, NCUA Director of Public and Congressional Affairs John McKechnie explained, but that did not get at the substance of the matter. The ABA is challenging NCUA’s definition of a well-defined local community. PCUA Senior Vice President of Communications and Marketing Mike Wishnow said he expects the same old arguments out of the bankers challenging NCUA’s definition of a well-defined local community as well as opening the field of membership approval process up to public comment. “The agency has a record of scrutinizing these applications reasonably,” he stated. Members 1st CEO Bob Marquette explained that his credit union took three different drafts of their field of membership proposal to the agency before they got approved, ultimately cutting the area from eight counties down to six. He added that the application was two-and-a-half years in the making. Marquette said he does not expect anything original out of the bankers either. “It’s the same arguments [as the Utah suit],” he said. “I don’t think they’re going to be successful as they were there.” He feels Members 1st presented the NCUA with a “pretty solid” package and a number of organizations use the six-county area as their home base. While legal strategy is still being worked out, Wishnow said PCUA plans to be in close contact with the agency and coordinate with the other intervening parties. [email protected]

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