ALEXANDRIA, Va. (9/25/08)--The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) has opened a call center staffed by insurance experts available to answer questions about share insurance coverage provided by agency’s National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund, backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. “With the well-publicized turmoil in the financial markets, consumers need assurance that the federally insured funds in their credit unions are safe up to the insured limits,” said NCUA Chairman Michael Fryzel in an announcement of the hotline. The agency concurrently posted an electronic tool kit, which is designed to enhance overall consumer understanding of how credit union deposits are insured. Fryzel urged credit union volunteers and professionals to make sure they are well-versed in the details of the protections offered to credit unions members through the NCUSIF. He encouraged those i8ndividuals to use the resources the NCUA is providing through the call center and toolkit. As of Sept. 23, the NCUA Insurance Call Center began operating from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. (EDT) Monday through Friday. The toll-free number is 1-800-755-1030, extension 1. The NCUA electronic tool kit is available online through the NCUA website and provides information on share insurance coverage, including:
* An ‘insurance estimator,’ which facilitate the calculation of an estimate of share insurance coverage; * Your Insured Funds, a brochure that details insurance coverage and illustrates sample cases; * How Your Accounts Are Federally Insured, a brochure that provides basic insurance information; * “Special Bulletin,” which explains increased retirement account coverage in addition to basic insurance protection; and * Letter to Credit Union 08-CU-18, Educating Members on Share Insurance Coverage.
Also, the NCUA is offering a free Webinar on Oct. 7 from 1-2:30 p.m. (ET) to review federal share insurance regulations. Registration opened Sept. 19 for the event. The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and the leagues also are working on behalf of credit unions to reassure their members about the safety of their deposits in the credit unions system and about the soundness of that system despite today's upheavals. CUNA President/CEO Dan Mica Wednesday posted a video on the CUNA website that dispels misinformation that is circulating that federally insured banks are the only safe places for consumer funds right now. He says that statement tells only part of the story and emphasizes that almost all credit unions are also federally insured and probably “the safest depository institutions in the country right now.” (See related story, Mica promotes CU soundness) Other CUNA efforts include a recent issue of Credit Union NewsWatch
, in which CUNA encapsulated many of its newly designed resources to help credit unions and their staffs address the public's questions and concerns about the safety of their money in trying economic times. The issue featured a two-page "Primer on Share Insurance Coverage for Individual Credit Union Members," as well as a two-page spread on operational questions affecting share insurance coverage, geared toward credit union compliance staff. Also included in the special edition:
* CUNA, Leagues Help CUs Spread Good News of Safety, Soundness; * NCUSIF Strong at Mid-Year, Says NCUA; and * CUNA, Leagues Get Word Out About CU Soundness.