WASHINGTON — Credit unions have done such a great job of improving the financial lives of their members that they need to communicate that success when urging lawmakers to help the industry, NCUA Board Member Michael Fryzel told attendees at NAFCU’s Congressional Caucus on Tuesday.
Fryzel, who as NCUA chairman presided over the initial stages of the corporate credit union crisis, praised the industry for how it helped their members navigate the economic downturn.
“While I hope that the worst is behind us, we have problems ahead. The high unemployment rate and a record number of mortgages that are underwater will pose continuing challenges,’’ he told the gathering.
Fryzel said the agency’s role is “not to run credit unions but to ensure the safety and soundness and protect the safety of the insurance fund.’’
Like other speakers, he noted that the conference site, the Mayflower Hotel, was where Franklin D. Roosevelt stayed before he was inaugurated in March 1933, at the height of the Great Depression. Roosevelt put the finishing touches on his inaugural address in a suite at the hotel.
That speech featured sharp criticisms of bankers and contained the famous phrase, “the only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.”