Local News

Chances of Joining a Credit Union Much Slimmer Now

Posted February 24, 1998

— Anyone not already a member of a credit union, might never be. Wednesday, the United States Supreme Court threw out a 16-year policy that allowed almost anyone to join.

Those who are currently members are not going to get kicked out, but individuals or companies trying to join a credit union is out of luck. This particular legal battle between banks and credit unions started in North Carolina and traveled all the way to the halls of the Supreme Court.

Credit unions have been very busy in recent years, signing up more and people, but the buck stopped at the supreme court. Justices threw out a government policy that has let credit unions accept new members from outside traditional membership pools. Roy High, who runs the NC Local Government Credit Union says consumers are the losers in this battle.

High says the ruling is a direct a hit to the average American who wants to join.

Reid Pollard is one of the bankers who first brought this lawsuit. He says credit unions were getting unfair advantages and were taking business away from banks.

Pollard says just because banks have been doing booming business in recent years, it doesn't mean credit unions should have the advantages they've had.

Now, the battle heads to the US Congress. There is a bill in the House that would open credit unions back up again. Bankers are fighting it and credit unions pushing it.

If passed, it would essentially overturn Wednesday's Supreme Court ruling.

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