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TOM SAKASHSTAFF NEWSWRITER

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CU System
N.J. league sets Bergen Record straight on CUs
HIGHTSTOWN, N.J. (4/1/11)--A letter to the editor written by the New Jersey Credit Union League and setting the record straight on credit unions' safety and soundness as well as members' high satisfaction level with credit unions was published Thursday in the Bergen Record. The letter, from league President/CEO Paul Gentile, defended credit unions' safety and soundness and reiterated customer/member satisfaction reports showing consumers are confident in doing business with credit unions. It was written in response to a March 6 article, titled "Credit union cutbacks," which hinted that credit unions are slipping in satisfaction and some are starting to charge fees. In his letter, Gentile noted several member satisfaction surveys. A Forrester Research survey indicated that "credit unions were ranked first among financial service institutions and 13th among all companies" and a poll by CNNMoney.com said that 51% of survey respondents chose credit unions as the safest, "once again proving the confidence credit union members have in their financial institutions," he wrote. He also compared fees of credit unions and banks, which indicated most credit unions charge less banks, and noted credit unions have fewer failures than banks--three to 25 so far this year, respectively. Lending remained strong for credit unions. "New Jersey's 208 credit unions also are lending, particularly for small businesses, for which they are true lenders. Their average small-business loan is about $123,000--loans that banks don't want to make," he said.
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