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<p>WASHINGTON – “Right on the Money!” a four-year old public television series which aims to educate consumers about the basics of banking and finance includes credit unions in their programming but does not necessarily recommend them over other financial options. Produced by Twin Cities Public Television and underwritten by Allianz North America, the American subsidiary of a German insurance and banking firm headquartered in the Twin Cities area, the three-year-old series airs in 130 public television markets and began its fourth series on March 22. According to the producers, the series, which is hosted by noted financial journalist Chris Farrell, “helps viewers become more financially literate by focusing on real life experiences of people learning to make ordinary money choices.” The 2002 series will cover everything from surviving a layoff to affordable home renovation. No single show focuses entirely on credit unions, yet credit unions are an integral part of consumer options the show presents particularly if they have a role to play in the segment, as in “Buying Your First Home” or “Cleaning Up Your Financial Life”, said Denise Workcuff, spokesperson for Twin Cities Public Television. Consumer Federation of America Executive Director Steve Brobeck appears in the series and touches on credit unions. Brobeck said about half the population is eligible for CU membership in a medium to large sized CU. He suggested that consumers talk to their employers about eligibility. While Brobeck praised CUs for having lower fees, higher yields on deposits, and a more sympathetic ear to consumers’ financial problems than other financials, he did say that credit unions are not as technologically advanced as other financials, and have fewer branches.</p>

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