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President Bill Clinton signs the Credit Union Membership Act into law. Photo courtesy of NAFCU.

What began as a court case by banks to stop credit unions from adding multiple groups to their membership ranks became a defining moment for the industry, and ignited a grassroots campaign the likes of which financial institutions had never seen.

Bankers sued the NCUA in the early 90s for allowing the AT&T Family Credit Union to expand its field of membership. The credit union, now named Truliant FCU, received permission from the regulator in the early 80s for multiple segs. However, after years in the courts, the case ultimately came to rest at the U.S. Supreme Court, which in February 1998 ruled in the banks’ favor.

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