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Washington
Bankers FOM resolution plan due Aug. 20
WASHINGTON (8/1/08)— The American Bankers Association and other banker plaintiffs have until Aug. 20 to file their brief addressing recommendations to the court for a resolution to the recently decided field-of-membership lawsuit in Pennsylvania. The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) and the credit union defendants have 15 days after the bankers respond to file their reply brief. The U.S. District Court, Middle District of Pennsylvania ruled against the NCUA in July in a bankers’ lawsuit against the agency’s decision granting a six-county area community credit union field-of-membership expansion in Pennsylvania. That approval involved Harrisburg, Pa.-based Members 1st FCU's and was later used as basis to authorize two other charter requests, one from New Cumberland FCU and the other from AmeriChoice FCU. The case did not challenge NCUA's community charter regulations. It was a fact-specific challenge and involved only the credit unions named. The court concluded, in the case known as American Bankers Association v. National Credit Union Administration, that “under all the circumstances, the decision of the NCUA is arbitrary and capricious and must be set aside." The court determined that "after a careful review of the record, that the NCUA's analysis is insufficient in this case..." The court directed the parties to file briefs regarding the proper resolution of the case, "Inasmuch as the briefs have not addressed the applicability and scope of available remedies," the court said. After the court’s decision, the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) pledged to work with the credit unions and the Pennsylvania CU Association (PCUA) to help the credit unions deal with the judge's order. Rick Wargo, PCUA executive vice president and general counsel, concurred: "We note Judge Kane did not prescribe a remedy. We will work with the three credit unions and NCUA on the remedy phase of the case in an effort to mitigate the decision."


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