WICHITA, Kan. (4/15/08)--Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius Friday signed a bill that places geographic restrictions on the areas credit unions can serve. With support from the Kansas Credit Union Association (KCUA), the new field-of-membership (FOM) law grandfathers all existing credit union members and their immediate family members, all existing occupational and associational groups, current geographic fields of membership up to one million in population and all current branch counties. It also outlines geographic limitations of up to 500,000 in population using multiple contiguous political jurisdictions for credit unions not headquartered in a metropolitan statistical area (MSA). “Although this new field-of-membership statute of one million in population for MSAs and 500,000 for rural areas may be very restrictive for other states, this could equate geographically to over one-third of the state of Kansas for MSA areas and over one-half for rural credit unions,” KCUA said in a statement released to News Now. Kansas has a population of 2.6 million. Under the grandfathering provisions, a credit union is allowed to include additional territory for branches outside of their geographic area. Credit unions with geographic areas can still serve members outside of their geographic area through multiple common bonds that include associational and occupational groups. “We felt this was a critical element of any new FOM provision,” the league said. The association will hold seminars and regional workshops on the new provisions of the statute to assist credit unions with compliance under the grandfathering provisions by Jan. 1, 2009, and training on the new application and notice requirements under the expansion provisions that go into effect this July 1.