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WASHINGTON-As a former state senator, NCUA Board Member JoAnn Johnson told credit union officials not to be intimidated by meeting with lawmakers and their staff as they descend upon Capitol Hill during NAFCU’s Congressional Caucus. “Believe me, you know more about credit unions than they do,” she said in trying to boost the confidence of Caucus attendees. She also said that meeting with congressional staffers is just as good for getting the credit union message across. Johnson addressed agency efforts to improve the credit union community as well. Member business lending is one of the most crucial areas, which she explained NCUA’s Office of General Counsel was potentially looking to revise three specific areas: the principle guarantee; construction and development lending; and unsecured loans. The changes are based on the common alterations of the states that have asked for special member business lending regulations to be approved by the NCUA Board. In one of her first statements on the subject, Johnson commented that the backing of the federal government in federal insurance cannot be overstated. The conversion of $2.8 billion Patelco Credit Union has brought the issue of private versus federal insurance to the forefront of discussion. Johnson also touted NCUA’s Access Across America program and how it pairs up nicely with President George W. Bush’s Homeownership Challenge, directed at expanding homeownership for minorities. [email protected]

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