HARRISBURG, Pa. (6/19/08)--In a unanimous decision, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled Monday that the Pennsylvania Bankers’ Association and other banker plaintiffs are not entitled to appeal a lower court’s dismissal of several claims against two credit unions and the Pennsylvania Department of Banking. The two credit unions are Trumark Financial CU, based in Trevose, and Freedom CU, Warminster. The Pennsylvania Credit Union Association (PCUA) had intervened on behalf of the credit unions. “The Supreme Court’s ruling this week is a positive development for the credit union defendants because it confines the case to the remaining claims in the Commonwealth Court," said PCUA General Counsel Rick Wargo. Credit Union National Association (CUNA) General Counsel Eric Richard agreed, adding, “We thought all along this banker appeal was questionable, and the court has agreed.” The Pennsylvania Supreme Court agreed with the credit union defendants and ruled that the earlier order from the lower court was not final and thus, not appropriate for the banker appeal. In essence, because several of the claims have not been resolved, the lower court’s opinion did not decide the case, “but merely narrowed the scope of the banks broader” claims, the court said. In January 2005, the banker groups brought suit in the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court to overturn the state banking department’s decision to permit the two credit unions to convert to community charters. The banks also challenged their dismissal by the banking department from the regulatory proceedings. In the Commonwealth Court, the bankers raised other claims, including the claim that the credit union tax exemption violated Pennsylvania and U.S. constitutions. The lower court dismissed several of the constitutional tax issue claims, and it was the dismissal of those claims that the bankers sought to appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. However, one tax challenge remains pending in the Commonwealth Court. The claims regarding the field of membership changes have been argued in the Supreme Court, and the credit unions are awaiting an opinion from the Court on those claims. It is unclear when the remaining issues will be decided. In its decision, the Supreme Court concluded, “at this juncture we still have no idea if the Commonwealth Court will ultimately enter a judgment for or against the banks."