ATLANTA (6/10/08)--Community charters are helping Georgia's credit unions withstand the ups and downs of serving members in today's economy, according to an article in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution published on Sunday. The article cites two examples in Atlanta: Delta Community CU, the largest credit union in the state with $2.597 billion in assets, and Georgia's Own CU, with $1.109 billion in assets. Both credit unions switched from employer-focused operations to community-based models. Mike Mercer, CEO of Georgia Credit Union Affiliates, told the newspaper that despite recent stalled membership growth in the state, credit unions there will grow rapidly over the next few years as credit unions boost investments in new branches. Many of the branches are in areas where the credit unions already have members. The article reported statistics from the Credit Union National Association: About 18% of the state's residents are credit union members, compared with 29% nationwide. In some states, at least 40% of the population is a credit union member. There's room to grow, Mercer told the newspaper. The article reported that bankers don't like the community charter, but the credit unions noted that they have to diversify to survive and are just trying to improve services for their members by opening branches in members' neighborhoods. "We're not growing for growth's sake," Rick Foley, president/CEO of Delta Community CU, told the newspaper. For the full article, use the resource link.