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While economists predict big loan gains this year, credit union leaders remain cautious.
NCUA Chief Economist John Worth discusses loan growth, credit unions and regulation.
Credit unions say NCUA examiners are pressuring them to keep long-term fixed assets below 35% of total assets, sacrificing income.
Pressured by NCUA examiners and concerned about interest rate risk, credit unions shed mortgages and other fixed rate assets, giving up income.
Although mergers completed in 2013 decreased from 2012, NCUA Economist John Worth said the pace hasn't changed much since 2000.
Credit unions and examiners often disagree on how to manage interest rate risk.
Experts say rising rates themselves aren't the problem; it's the spread that matters.
Despite concerns from examiners, credit unions are better positioned to handle interest rate risk than for-profit competitors.
Volatile interest rates are producing unrealized losses on credit union investment portfolios.