The $1.6 billion Apple Federal Credit Union may be hinting at conversion prospects but that has not stopped theVirginia Credit Union League from urging the suburban D.C. CU toreconsider its departure from the league and CUNA.

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In a weekend statement, the president/CEO of the league, RickPillow, expressed disappointment at the decision of the Fairfax,Va. CU to quit the trade groups.

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“Obviously, any disaffiliation is a loss to the League, but thisparticular disaffiliation is especially painful,” said Pillow. “Icount Larry Kelly as a good friend and I appreciate the tremendoussupport he and Apple provided to the Virginia League for so manyyears.”

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Pillow was making reference to Kelly, the president CEO of Applewho last week criticized CUNA/league advocacy efforts as he alsoquestioned the value of the CU charter at a time of heightenedregulatory burdens.

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“Few credit unions have done more in the area of financialeducation,” said Pillow noting that “Apple has played a keyleadership role in helping build the Virginia League's nationallyrecognized financial education program.”

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Moreover, “Apple staff and board members have served on a numberof League committees over the years and in leadership roles for ourNorthern Virginia Chapter and our shared branching network. They'vealso been a champion for us in our advocacy and legislative work,”said Pillow.

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“We will sorely miss Apple's contributions to the success of thecredit union system here in the commonwealth. The simple truth isthat we're stronger as a unified movement, and my hope is thatApple will re-visit the issue of affiliation in the near future,”he concluded.

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CUNA, meanwhile, issued this statement: “CUNA is alsodisappointed whenever a credit union disaffiliates. Like theVirginia league, we believe that unity is critically important tothe strength of the credit union movement. Our goal isalways to work out any differences from within, and CUNA leadershiphad reached out to Apple FCU in that regard. We regret thatthose discussions did not alter Apple FCU's course, but our hope isthat the credit union will decide to re-affiliate in thefuture.”

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The Apple exit from the league comes as top Virginia CEOs havebeen convening across the state this month in town hall meetings aspart of long-term strategy sessions looking at the chapter and duesstructure and considering future relocation of its headquartersfrom Lynchburg to Richmond, the state capital.

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On a positive note, the league said this week two CUs havere-affiliated after being out of the organization for some time.They include an $80 million CU and a $2 million. Neither wasidentified until paperwork is completed.

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