TAMPA, Fla. (12/6/13)--Members of $5.4 billion-asset Suncoast Schools FCU, Florida's largest credit union, approved a proposal to convert from a federal to a state charter in a preliminary vote Thursday afternoon.
In a special meeting held yesterday, 77% of the voting membership approved the charter change.
Suncoast Schools FCU President/CEO Tom Dorety told News Now a desire for a more "simplified field of membership" as the reason for the charter change.
The change has been approved by both the National Credit Union Administration and the state regulator, Dorety said.
"We are the largest community financial institution headquartered on the west coast of Florida," Dorety told News Now. "Under the federal charter, we have expanded through select employee groups, immediate family members, but the membership is not very simple. Our bylaws have about 100 pages naming our field of membership. Under the state charter, we will switch to a community charter in all of counties in which we operate today. It is a far simpler way for us to operate."
Suncoast serves 15 Florida counties, Dorety said. He anticipated that the credit union "will probably pick up" two additional counties, but does not have immediate plans for further expansion.
"We are focused on the west coast of Florida," Dorety said. "Through our foundation we give more to support public education than any other private organization in the 15 counties we serve, and we will continue to expand on that."
If the charter change is approved, the credit union will change its name to Suncoast CU, effective Jan. 1.