ARLINGTON, Va. (12/19/08)--Several state agencies recently signed a Regional Interstate Branching Agreement strengthening the state credit union charter’s ability to branch and serve members across state lines, National Association of State Credit Union Supervisors (NASCUS) Chairman George Reynolds (Georgia) announced Thursday. Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina and Tennessee entered into the agreement to promote interstate commerce and cooperation on a reciprocal basis among state-chartered credit unions in the Southeast. Reynolds, senior deputy commissioner of the Georgia Department of Banking and Finance, has made it a priority during his NASCUS chairmanship to bolster the state credit union charter’s ability to branch across state lines, NASCUS said. Other regions of the country are working on similar agreements and additional states are considering signing the Southeast agreement. “The signing of this agreement demonstrates state regulators’ commitment to strengthening the state charter and promoting opportunities for state credit union growth,” Reynolds said. “Federally chartered credit unions can branch without limitations, so it’s important to provide state-chartered credit unions with the parity to do the same.” The regional agreements are supplementary to the NASCUS’ Nationwide Cooperative Agreement for the Supervision of State-Chartered Credit Unions Operating in a Multi-State Environment, the document most state regulators use to facilitate interstate branching. NASCUS and state regulators are currently updating and revising the Nationwide Cooperative Agreement and facilitating the development of additional regional agreements.