HONG KONG — The U.S. policy on conversions of nonprofit credit unions to for profit banks has drawn a mix of bewilderment and outrage from world credit union leaders attending this year's World Credit Union Conference.

Similar conversions, called demutualizations, are not unknown in other parts of the world but the US may the only country which does not mandate that the equity of the closing credit union be distributed to the CU's members as part of the demutualization process.

"That's bloody outrageous," blurted Phylip Doughty, CEO of MECU, a large credit union in Australia, after CUNA Chairman Tom Dorety explained to conference attendees the U.S. policy of transferring the equity of the closing credit union to the new corporation and offering CU members only the opportunity to buy shares of it.

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