Thursday, April 24, 2008

CUNA thanks Rep. Clarke for pro-CU comments

WASHINGTON (4/24/08)—Credit Union National Association (CUNA) President/CEO Dan Mica Wednesday thanked Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.) for her strong statement of broad praise of credit unions submitted for the April 22 Congressional Record.

Clarke, a credit union member herself, made her statement to "recognize the importance of credit unions" to their communities.

"I am a true believer that people should help people," which, Clarke said, is the mission of credit unions.

"Members know that during the economic downturn that we are currently facing right now, credit unions will always be there to serve their members to the best of their ability," Clarke said.

Clarke noted that as the nation suffers through the current mortgage crisis, credit unions have displayed an "outstanding record of service to both minority and low- to moderate-income mortgage applicants and have a long history of responsible mortgage lending."

"What is impressive to that in 2006, credit unions approved an overwhelming 71% of applications from low- to moderate-income mortgage applicants," she added.

Clarke also lauded credit unions for their generally higher interest rates on deposits and lower interest rates charged for loans and other services than those charged by banks.

"(C)redit unions are extremely vital to my hometown, New York City. Credit unions serve more New Yorkers living in low-income and underserved areas that are continually being abandoned by big corporate banks," Clarke said.

She also called lawmakers' attention to the following figure: She said that more than one-third of credit union CEOs nationwide are women.

In a letter to Clarke, CUNA's leader noted credit unions' appreciation of the congresswoman's remarks for the official record of Congress. He commended her for her understanding of the credit union difference.

"Credit unions do indeed seek to fill the vacuum created in many communities as banks and other types of financial institutions leave to serve more lucrative markets. The credit union movement was founded to serve people who had little or no access to mainstream financial services." Mica wrote.

He also noted that House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) made similar favorable comments about the responsible mortgage lending practices adhered to by credit unions.

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