NEW YORK (3/6/09)--A letter to the editor of the The Wall Street Journal (March 5) says the country needs to invest in business cooperatives, such as credit unions. "While bank partnerships can mitigate risk-taking by executives, there is no direct benefit to bank customers unless they, too, are shareholders," wrote Pia Duryea of Arlington, Va. "We need to invest in business cooperatives," Duryea wrote. "Credit unions, or financial cooperatives, are distinct from investor-owned businesses. Those who use credit union services own an equal share of the business. As a result, credit unions thoughtfully weigh the risks they take." Duryea cited statistics, saying that as of June 2008, credit unions experienced low levels of delinquent mortgage payments: 0.78% as compared with banks' 2.7%. The letter noted credit unions' better interest rates, reduced fees and democratic control, saving credit union members 11 billion more than bank customers. "So, while partnership is good, cooperation is better," Duryea concluded.