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Fryzel urges CUs to expand their reach
WASHINGTON (3/22/12)--Credit unions should think big and set a goal of having every family have at least one account at a credit union, National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) board member Michael Fryzel said at Wednesday morning's session of the Credit Union National Association's Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC).

Click for slide showNCUA board member Michael Fryzel tells the CUNA GAC audience that they are the inheritors of credit unions' long tradition of people helping people. He adds, "But you are more than inheritors, you are now the engine itself." (CUNA Photo)
Credit unions should build on their success and the fact that they are the "preeminent example of how people can succeed by cooperating," Fryzel said.

He added that credit unions should expand their efforts to show that "self-help, not-for-profit, democratically run cooperatives are the best means of helping all Americans gain access to high quality, low-cost financial services."

"(If) you believe in your hearts--and I think you do--that not-for-profit, democratically run cooperatives are a model for championing the classic can-do work ethic and achievement that has distinguished America since its founding, then take the reins and lead the way,'' he challenged his credit union audience.

Fryzel, a board member since 2008 and a former NCUA chairman, credited the industry for succeeding during the recent financial crisis.

He noted that the industry repaired the problems caused by the failure of several large corporate credit unions and extended credit at a "record pace,'' while other financial institutions held back. Those successes, Fryzel said, were indicative of the industry's strength.

"You saw some very dark days and you said we have the best financial services system in the nation and we are not about to let it fail our members and the American people,'' he said.

GAC sessions wrapped up Wednesday, but the GAC effort continues today with additional visits by credit union representatives with their federal lawmakers on key credit union issues.

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