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<p>Sometimes an event occurs that, perhaps unintentionally, speaks to the motivations and beliefs of groups within the credit union community. I have strong concerns with the statement attributed to NAFCU in the Feb 13, 2002 edition of Credit Union Times, in which they express opposition to a provision in a bill that affects privately insured state chartered credit unions (“Oxley give trades one more shot to chime in on regulatory relief”.) The provision in the regulatory relief bill would give privately insured state charters an opportunity to choose membership in the Federal Home Loan Bank System. NAFCU cites “concern” about the FHLB system being “expose(d) to unnecessary risk” because of the participation of privately insured institutions, but does not substantiate its claim. That may be because 216 state chartered credit unions insured by the American Share Insurance (ASI) fund report an equity-to-risk ratio of 1.44%, or $1.44 per $100 of insured deposits. It’s my understanding that this ratio is significantly higher than the current ratio of federal deposit insurers. Additionally, ASI’s delinquency, capital and liquidity rates are equal to, or better than other deposit insurers. And finally, privately insured credit unions are as well capitalized, managed, and receive the same levels of high CAMEL ratings as their federal counterparts. NAFCU’s objection is not grounded in facts, and is especially undeserving to those of us in the state system, both federal or privately insured, that were proud to join our federal brethren in defending consumer choice during H.R. 1151. Now, apparently according to this article NAFCU is not willing to support a provision that would help the state chartering system. I am a proponent of the dual chartering and dual insurance system in our movement, and the freedom to choose is one of the reasons why credit unions are unique. While Kent Credit Union is a state-chartered federally insured credit union, I’m pleased to have the option of choosing for our members the best way in which to operate our business. NAFCU’S time could be best spent strengthening the federal charter and less time trying to narrow the field of choice for credit unions. Rose Bartolomucci President/CEO Kent Credit Union Kent, Ohio</p>

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