CHICAGO - While credit unions face a myriad of challenges, by working hard and smart they can emerge stronger.
That was the message of NCUA Board Members Gigi Hyland and Michael Fryzel during their speeches today at NAFCU's Annual Conference.
Hyland said declining net worth ratios and increases in member business loan losses are among the trends causing the agency great concern. She also said the costs of dealing with corporate credit unions' legacy assets will pose more challenges to the industry's financial health.
Credit unions should respond to the current climate by reachibg out to everyone in their field of membership, educating their members on personal finance and making responsible member-business and small-dollar loans. She also said credit union boards and staffs should reflect the diversity of their members.
Fryzel said although he sees a light at the end of the proverbial tunnel, "that light is flickering."
He added that credit unions resemble his native city of Chicago because "they have broad shoulders and a we will attitude."
He also praised NAFCU for its vigorous advocacy efforts and for recognizing that "the regulator can't always take the popular position."