WASHINGTON – Credit unions are operating in the toughest interest rate environment in decades, and credit unions attending Callahan and Associates' 8th Annual Financial Strategies Conference got an earful of advice on new mortgage, auto lending, credit card and ATM strategies they should use to remain competitive. Ed Callahan, retiring CEO of Patelco CU, kicked off the two-day conference, July 11-12 in Carmel Valley, Calif. He told attendees that growth has never come so easy to credit unions as it has in recent years, but credit unions are still the best kept secret. "This is the time to dig deeper and pay more, because our members benefit," said Callahan. Other speakers at the conference included two leading economists – Jan Hatzius, senior economist at Goldman Sachs, and Doug Duncan, chief economist for the Mortgage Banker's Association.

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