A $1.6 billion Grand Rapids, Mich. credit union could soon be buying an ailing bank following enactment of new enabling regulations pushed by the Michigan Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation.

"We were approached by a bank last year and so we asked our regulator to seek language in state law patterned after those affecting federal credit unions," explained Julie Blitchok, senior vice president of operations and marketing for Lake Michigan CU.

She declined to identify the bank, its location or status of the negotiations but said the bank's management apparently "saw us as a good option to affiliate with a strong, healthy institution."

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