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Leagues continue media efforts on fed insurance
MADISON, Wis. (10/1/08)--Leagues continued their efforts with the media to gain positive coverage educating the public and members about credit unions' federal insurance and overall safety and soundness. Among them: Indiana, Virginia and Iowa. In Indiana, the fact that credit unions are a bright spot in the financial services industry was more than apparent to viewers of Indianapolis’ CBS affiliate, WISH-TV 8, during the 6 p.m. newscast Sunday. The Indiana Credit Union League was in the middle of its three-day convention when the station responded to a news release the league had sent statewide media. The league reminded them that credit unions are a safe harbor for consumers and small business owners, especially during tumultuous times in the financial services sector. The station sent a reporter to the convention to interview league President John McKenzie and Teachers CU CEO Rick Rice. The segment opened with a reference to credit unions as the “bright spot,” which McKenzie and Rice emphasized, and with the anchor pointing out, “it is not all doom and gloom when it comes to the financial markets …. Local credit unions are actually growing during these uncertain times.” (Use link to view video) In the interview, Rice said “more people are turning toward credit unions for financial stability.” In discussing positive mortgage growth at credit unions, Rice said, "We’ve seen a lot more business come to us (Teachers CU). The first seven months of this year, we did all of what we did last year in mortgages.” “These interviews and the resulting coverage provided an opportunity to emphasize our message about consumers and business owners looking to credit unions during these difficult times for the economy and the overall financial industry," said McKenzie, who explained on-air to viewers, “Consumers and business owners recognize that credit unions represent a safe haven.” The news is broadcast to 60,000 households in Central Indiana including Indianapolis, Terre Haute, Lafayette, Bloomington, Kokomo, and Richmond. For the complete interview, use the link to the video. The Virginia Credit Union League sent two press releases that were part of an article about Citigroup's acquisition of Wachovia Bank (Daily Press Sept. 30) in Newport News, Va. Credit unions as a safe harbor was the emphasis. League President Rick Pillow said the state's credit unions are on "exceptionally strong financial footing" and the while the credit crunch has affected others, credit unions have money they're ready to lend to members. He also noted Virginia credit unions have low delinquencies. Also interviewed for the article was Jean Yokum, president of Langley FCU, Newport News, who noted the credit union has conservative guidelines and hasn't had to tighten credit as much. In a media statement about credit union federal insuranc, Iowa Credit Union League Chief Operating Officer Murray Williams noted that "credit unions are gaining welcomed recognition due to the fact that we have not contributed to this (economic) crisis. We have remained faithful to sound lending practices, thus avoiding subprime lending." Williams explained the nation's credit unions are guaranteed under the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF) at the same levels and safety as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC). Nearly one million credit union member accounts in Iowa and 90 million nationwide are just as safe and sound as those at FDIC-insured institutions, he said.
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