MADISON, Wis. (10/1/08)--It’s okay to be concerned about the U.S.’s financial turmoil, but consumers should sit tight, according to one credit union president/CEO. The country’s economic problems are too large to simplify, and it is too early to know their impact, Navigator CU President/CEO Laurin Avara told WLOX in Pascagoula, Miss., where Navigator is based. Money at credit unions is insured by the federal government, Avara said. He also encouraged concerned families to meet with a financial planner to discuss assets (WLOX Sept. 30). Navigator does business “the old conservative way,” which has led to fewer losses. Avara said he is hopeful that the nation will pull through and that consumers can “look for opportunities in this,” he told the news outlet. Much of the media’s reporting has focused on the safety and soundness of investment companies and banks, while credit unions “continue to provide a safe haven for consumers,” wrote William Lavage, president/CEO for Service 1st FCU, Danville, Pa. in a letter to the editor of The Daily Item. He noted that credit unions were formed after the Great Depression in the 1930s to help consumers afford financial services, and reiterated that credit unions are backed by the National Credit Union Administration and the federal government. “Credit unions are the stewards of their members’ hard-earned money and take that responsibility seriously,” he said. “Investments are made conservatively, and credit unions cannot be bought and sold as commodities.” Service 1st has $129 million in assets. Navigator has $197 million in assets.