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Mica assesses NCUA rescue plans
WASHINGTON (12/10/08)—The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) greeted the televised announcement of the National Credit Union Administration’s (NCUA’s) relief plans as a positive step, but added there are many underlying issues with the agency’s latest effort. CUNA President/CEO Dan Mica Tuesday applauded NCUA Chairman Michael Fryzel’s steps to address challenges presented to corporate credit unions as the result of a frozen mortgage securities market. Earlier in the day, Fryzel outlined his proposed initiatives--the Credit Union Homeowner Affordability Relief Program (CU HARP) and Credit Union System Investment Program (CU SIP)—before national television audiences (see related story, “NCUA Chairman pushes for CU initiatives”). CU HARP is intended to provide relief to credit union members by members to temporarily lowering monthly mortgage payments. CU SIP would bolster corporate credit unions using billions of dollars in new borrowings from the U.S. Treasury Department. Although welcoming the NCUA’s announcement, Mica noted, “However there are many issues underlying this latest effort by the agency, including whether natural person credit unions will participate in a significant way.” The CUNA leader added, “We think it also vital that the agency brings equal inventiveness and flexibility to the burdens weighing on some natural person credit unions, especially in those parts of the country where the mortgage and credit crises have inflicted extensive collateral damage. “CUNA has been urging NCUA to take such action for a number of weeks.” Mica added that CUNA is just now learning of the details of the CU SIP program: “We will be evaluating its usefulness and reporting to our members on our resulting analysis.”


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