The industry's latest corporate crisis wound up again getting national attention Monday night in a segment on Fox Business Network featuring interviews with CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney and one of the Wall Street Journal writers of "bailout" fame.
The show was hosted by personal finance commentator Gerri Willis and also included panelist Bert Ely, a Washington banking analyst. It focused on how CUs are indeed bearing the cost of the corporate takeovers and how the public can still rely on CUs for financial services.
Asked about CU status, Cheney said, as other industry leaders have since Friday, that no taxpayer dollars are being spent and that CUs are bearing the cost and have already been doing so with no impact on consumers.
"Actually, the retail credit unions will have to bear the cost over a 10 year period, but already have been paying the cost for a year and a half," Cheney said.
Also on the program was Mark Maremont, the senior editor who co-wrote last weekend's front page story which carried the harsh, negative "credit union bailout" headline. To counter anti-CU fallout, CUNA and NAFCU leaders have both maintained the general story was accurate but the headline carried a false connotation.
In the Fox show, Maremont noted there are 8,000 retail CUs paying the cost but also cited the 10 year repayment period.
Willis, the host, replayed a comment Cheney made on a previous appearance on her show this summer in which he pointed out consumers save over $7 billion a year using CUs rather than banks as the result of better rates and lower fees.
She asked if these types of savings could continue when retail CUs have to repay the cost of dealing with the corporate situation.
Cheney replied that CUs already have been paying the costs and still have delivered the same level of savings to consumers.
Asked about bank failures, Bert Ely keyed off a headline in yesterday's Wall Street Journal that read "Banks Keep Failing, No End in Sight" by saying 2010 will probably be the peak as the banking industry works through its problems.