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Wis. league CEO editorial CUs keep local money local
MADISON, Wis. (4/23/10)--Brett Thompson, president/CEO of the Wisconsin Credit Union League, touted the fact that credit unions help keep local money local, in an opinion piece that responded to a prior editorial by a Wisconsin newspaper, which discussed the advantages of a state-run bank. “We encourage investigation of the [state-run bank] concept,” Thompson wrote. “And we encourage any analysis to take into account credit unions, which are locally owned and managed financial institutions where deposited dollars are loaned out to individuals and businesses within the community” (The Capital Times April 19). More than 2.2 million Wisconsinites belong to credit unions, and in 2009, credit unions in the state increased their lending to hometown businesses by 13% to take up the slack because of decreased lending by banks, Thompson added. “As a result, these not-for-profit co-ops return $200 million annually to depositors through better rates on loans and savings and lower and fewer fees,” Thompson wrote. “Through their REAL Solutions initiative, credit unions help families by making affordable loans, refinancing mortgages, consolidating debt and adjusting loan terms,” he added. “They help members sort out complex financial challenges, stretch budgets, rebuild battered credit scores and avoid payday lenders They also offer free financial education. When members need help, credit unions step up.” The REAL Solutions program works through state credit union leagues to help credit unions offer services that have proven successful for people of modest means and “low wealth.”
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