Matz: Allow me to respond
Mike Welch's column, "How to get low-income stats begs question", in the July 3, 2002 edition of Credit Union Times, poses several questions to me. Allow me to respond: First, let me make it clear, once again, it is not my intention to bring back the Community Action Plan (CAP). Indeed, the only person who seems intent on keeping this issue alive is Mr. Welch. If he had been at the April NCUA Board meeting or read my statement on the NCUA Web site, http://www.ncua.gov/org/ncua_board/matznews.html he would know that I believe CAP was a divisive issue that was more symbolic than substantive and I have no intention of revisiting this issue. Secondly, Mr. Welch asks why I am trying to "force" federal credit unions to document their service to low-income individuals? Quite simply, this is just wrong! I do not believe NCUA should impose any sort of survey, study, or documentation requirements. However, with the diminishing number of small credit unions, the credit union landscape is changing dramatically with larger, more sophisticated institutions becoming the norm. For substantive and political reasons I think it is important for credit unions to tell their story. How credit unions tell their story is up to them but there is a good story to tell. Maybe Mr. Welch would prefer the unending attacks on credit unions be left unanswered and credit unions be left undefended. As I travel across the country and meet with credit union leaders, I find that credit unions, regardless of size, are providing a wonderful array of innovative services for their members and staying committed to the credit union philosophy. My objective is for credit union leaders to explain this story, in an empirical manner, so that credit union critics, and members of Congress and their staffs, have access to the true story of credit union member service. My top priority, Mr. Welch, is a thriving credit union industry that is safe and sound, and immune from unwarranted political attacks from its critics and competitors. Deborah Matz Board Member National Credit Union Administration Alexandria, Va.