TULSA, Okla. (2/19/09)--For the first time in 15 years, a state-chartered credit union in Oklahoma has received approval to change to a federal charter. The Oklahoma State Credit Union Board approved the charter change of Tulsa Federal Employees CU, a $423.1 million asset credit union based in Tulsa (The Journal Record Feb. 18). Tulsa Federal President Phil Hart told the newspaper the credit union sought the change for two reasons: to potentially expand its commercial business lending and to be regulated by the National Credit Union Administration, which regulates only credit unions. The Oklahoma Banking Department regulates both credit unions and banks. A federal charter would allow a loan participation waiver of the credit union's business and commercial loan limitations, boosting the amount from 12.25% of assets to the 20%. The credit union doesn't have a waiver and there is no provision under state law to get a waiver. The last credit union to switch from state to fed charter in Oklahoma was Oklahoma City-based Tinker FCU, which received a federal charter in 1994. A charter conversion means the state board would have 22 state-chartered credit unions to oversee out of the state's 98 credit unions.