WASHINGTON (3/3/09)—Fox Business Network Monday aired a segment called “Betting on Credit Unions,” in which Credit Union National Association (CUNA) President/CEO Dan Mica explained how credit unions could bring billions of dollars into the economy without costing taxpayers a dime.
On the Fox show “Money for Breakfast,” Mica underscored for the national TV audience that the credit union system is in good financial shape with solid capital levels, very low delinquency rates, and with savings and lending volumes increasing even in the troubled economy. The CUNA leader noted that credit unions have money to lend to small businesses and said if Congress would remove an arbitrary cap of 12.25% of assets, credit unions could quickly infuse $10 billion of credit into small businesses. “And it doesn’t cost taxpayers a dime,” Mica reminded. When the FOX host asked if credit unions could get themselves into leveraging problems as banks and other lenders did with subprime mortgages, Mica stated that credit unions “have always been mindful and conservative managers of people money.” He added that the credit union system is well capitalized at over 11%, against a government 7% requirement for being ranked well capitalized. Also participating on the Fox morning show, Scott Arney, CEO of Chicago Patrolmens FCU, answered the question: Why choose a credit union over a bank? Arne said credit unions “know exactly who they serve,” and noted that each member is a credit union owner. That structure, Arne added, translates into the self disciplined business philosophies of credit unions.