PORTLAND, Ore. (1/22/08)--Consolidated FCU, a Portland, Ore.-based credit union, announced it will close its Seneca, S.C., branch Feb. 29. In 1974, the Seneca office opened as a branch of Jantzen FCU to serve Jantzen employees working in Seneca and Westminster, S.C. After the Jantzen sewing and distribution center closed, the credit union applied for, and was granted, a local community charter in Oconee County, S.C., after regulators determined the area to be an underserved area (UpstateToday.com Jan. 18). In 1996, Jantzen FCU merged with Consolidated FCU. Recently, Consolidated FCU was granted the authority to serve people in the Portland tri-county metropolitan area. As a condition for expanding the credit union’s field of membership, the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) mandated that Consolidated FCU stop enrolling new members at its Seneca location. The NCUA requirement stems from a lawsuit filed by an out-of-state bankers group, which challenged the NCUA’s authority to approve a community chartered credit union in one state to operate an underserved community in a different state. The closing of the Seneca branch is unrelated to its finances, which are sound, Ed Baldwin, Consolidated president/CEO, told the newspaper.