CUNA, joined by state leagues, were in media damage control Monday to keep a lid on any more "credit union bailout" coverage of the type that hit online and in a handful of national outlets over the weekend following the corporate seizures.
Despite the headlines, much of the latest coverage has hit on NCUA's actions that individual CUs are safe and that its actions are invisible to consumers, said a CUNA spokesman noting a second webinar was scheduled mid-morning to brief its leadership on all that has happened and to assure wary CU managers across the U.S.
The spokesman said the big concern is that the bailout headlines will prompt a flood of questions to CUs from members. Late Friday, CUNA sent out its Q&A packets to CUs across the country to prepare for a media onslaught.
For one, the Texas Credit Union League said so far media outlets in Dallas, Houston and Austin focused on the Southwest Corporate FCU takeover with fair treatment with only a few referring to a Wall Street Journal "bailout" headline.
"I was really surprised that somebody from NCUA actually talked to some non-daily reporter in Texas describing what was being done, and answering his questions," said a Texas Leagues spokeswoman.
The Texas League was one of the first to issue a press release late Friday quoting Richard Ensweiler, president/CEO, stating, "While this news is disheartening, it wasn't wholly unexpected."
Fortunately, said the Texas League, "The NCUA's action does not directly impact the day-to-day operations of natural person credit unions which serve 7.2 million Texans. NCUA will operate Southwest Corporate for the time being, to ensure no loss in services to credit unions and their credit union members."
The league noted that Southwest Corporate will be holding a webinar for members at 3 p.m. on Thursday while NCUA is hosting a national town hall today to discuss its actions and the corporate legacy assets plan.