LYNCHBURG, Va. (2/3/10)--The Virginia Credit Union League is still at the table with state lawmakers and bankers, working on an agreement that would resolve the battle over bills in state legislature that would allow state banks to merge or consolidate with state-chartered credit unions. The two identical bills--House Bill 482 and Senate Bill 440--also would allow a federal credit union on state-chartered credit union to merge or consolidate with a state bank. However, the league considers them to be a one-way street and opposes them as written. The league is focusing on two areas, according to Lewis Wood, director of public relations and communications:
* Providing state-chartered credit unions with the same charter conversion options currently available to federally chartered credit unions. The league hopes to "provide a clear path for state-chartered credit unions to convert to a mutual savings bank," Wood said. * Ensuring adequate member safeguards are in place to govern such a conversion. "We're suggesting that a state-chartered credit union looking at such a conversion should be required to adhere to the same member safeguards currently in place at the federal level," Wood told News Now.
"Basically, we're trying to transform the legislation from a merger/acquisition bill to a credit union charter choice bill," Wood said. Earlier League President Rick Pillow had told News Now
that the bills, as written, give no protections of members, their rights or their equity in the credit union in a merger situation. The bills are scheduled to be heard Thursday before the House Commerce and Labor Committee, Wood said. Until then, the exact language of the bill is still fluid. The bills were introduced in January by Del. Mark Sickles (D-43) and Senate Commerce and Labor Committee Chairman Richard Saslaw (D-35) (News Now