MONTPELIER, Vt. — Representatives from Vermont State Employees CU here said today's pre-conference hearing went almost exactly as expected. The CU is in a legal dispute with the state's Department of Financial Regulation (DFR) over use of the words "bank" and "banking."

VSECU CEO Steve Post told Credit Union Journal that the hearing lasted about 75 minutes, with lawyers and the hearing officer in the case discussing the hearing process in preparation for a formal hearing. The scheduling order will be issued by the hearing officer based on today's meeting, but VSECU has not yet seen that.

Previous reports have indicated that the official hearing could begin as soon as next week.

Despite the purely administrative side of today's meeting, VSECU was not without support. Joe Bergeron of the Vermont CU League was in attendance, said Post, as well as some representatives from Vermont FCU in Burlington. The president of the Vermont Bankers Association—the group which VSECU believes is largely driving the action from the DFR — also attended today's hearing.

Whenever the hearing does take place, the hearing officer will issue an opinion after hearing testimony from both parties. After that, Steve Kimbell, the state's banking commissioner, will be advised on the ruling.

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