Nevada Federal Credit Union President/CEO Brad Beal told Credit Union Times that his credit union has made the business decision to move to a community charter.

“From a strategic point of view, we need to expand our footprint,” Beal explained. He said the state-issued charter would allow the credit union to serve another 300,000 potential members.

The $695 million credit union currently has about 81,000 members.

Nevada Federal has received preliminary approval from the NCUA and the state regulator, according to Beal. Ballots are going out to members next week and voting will be concluded Aug. 30.

Since it will be dropping the “federal” from its name, the credit union will be changing that too. That will be decided upon following the member vote if the plan is approved.

While no new branches are being considered at this time, a marketing campaign would follow the conversion. Beal stressed that the credit union absolutely plans to stay federally insured.

The former NAFCU chairman said the credit union will remain supportive of NAFCU even with its state charter. While Nevada Federal is not a member of CUNA, Beal emphasized that he also has a great working relationship with Diana Dykstra, CEO of the California/Nevada leagues, and has worked with the league on many projects.

The Las Vegas-based credit union felt the impact of the particularly hard hit state economy in this financial crisis, yet its net worth ratio is still at 9.85% as of the March call report data.

Earnings have come up from negative to a positive nine basis points ROA. Membership growth has been negative over the last year but the credit union had taken the radical step of offering incentives for members with just one product to take their CDs elsewhere.

Nevada Federal also discontinued payday loans.