Contact: Patrick Keefe, +1-202-508-6765, pkeefe@cuna.com, or Mark Wolff,
     +1-202-508-6764, mwolff@cuna.com, both of CUNA
     Amid turmoil, serving as safe harbors for consumer savings
     WASHINGTON, July 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Despite turmoil in other
     areas of the financial community, America’s credit unions remain a safe
     harbor for consumers - with strong financial positions, federal deposit
     insurance and conservative and prudent management policies that kept credit
     unions out of the subprime mortgage mess.
     A credit union is a not-for-profit financial cooperative that is owned by
     the members it serves. There are about 8,500 credit unions nationwide,
     counting more than 90 million consumers as members, and collectively holding
     about $800 billion in assets.
     Credit Union National Association (CUNA) - the nation’s largest advocacy
     group for credit unions - points out that credit unions have strong dollar
     reserves (capital), savings are federally insured by the National Credit Union
     Administration (NCUA, an agency of the U.S. government) to the same level of
     those insured at banks by the FDIC; and credit unions lend to their members
     responsibly rather than forcing loans on consumers in order to score a quick
     Ã¢â‚¬Å“Consumers can rest assured that their money is safe when saved in a
     credit union,†said Daniel A. Mica, president and CEO of CUNA, in
     Washington, DC. “Just as at banks, their savings are insured to at least
     $100,000, with higher coverage available for a combination of accounts and
     individual retirement accounts.â€
     Ã¢â‚¬Å“Additionally, credit unions themselves have socked away reserves - a
     capital cushion of more than $90 billion - to help them weather slow economic
     times,†Mica added.
     Ã¢â‚¬Å“And, since credit unions exist only to serve their members - not amass
     profits for stockholders - they provide services to their members, such as
     responsibly extending lower-cost loans to those members who can show they can
     afford to pay the loans back.â€
     Mica also pointed out that, since other segments of the financial industry
     have faced turmoil, consumers have increasingly turned to credit unions as a
     Ã¢â‚¬Å“safe harbor.†According to data compiled by CUNA, savings at credit
     unions so far this year have grown nearly 7 percent.
     Ã¢â‚¬Å“In today’s economy, consumers are increasing their savings in
     response to concerns about their economic future,†Mica said. “Clearly,
     more people seeking to put their money in a stable source offering good rates
     are turning to credit unions.â€
     According to DataTrac, an on-line rate comparison service, credit unions
     typically offer higher savings rates than banks. For a daily rate comparison,
     go to this link: http://www.creditunion.coop/ratedex.php.
     Ã¢â‚¬Å“Consumers saved $10.9 billion last year by using credit unions rather
     than banks,†Mica said. “The savings come in the form of lower fees,
     higher savings rates and lower loan rates. That works out to about $126 per
     credit union member or $239 per household.â€
     With its network of affiliated state credit union leagues, Credit Union
     National Association (CUNA) serves 90 percent of America's 8,500 credit
     unions, which are owned by more than 90 million consumer members. Credit
     unions are not-for-profit cooperatives providing affordable financial services
     to people from all walks of life. For more information, visit http://www.cuna.org.
     SOURCE Credit Union National Association

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