WASHINGTON-According to CUNA Chairman Barry Jolette, also President and CEO of San Mateo Credit Union, information given at a meeting November 8, between the financial services sector and Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill showed that credit unions are more confident in their handling of the slow economy and increased liquidity than banks. Jolette, who attended the meeting with CUNA Associate General Counsel Mary Dunn, explained that credit unions have experienced 9% savings growth over the first three quarters of 2002, the second highest in a decade, and 6% growth in loans in the same time period. He admitted that earnings have been “a little difficult,” but were still pretty good, adding that they are better than last year. “Credit unions are well positioned. They’re well prepared, and their handling it,” Jolette told Credit Union Times. Jolette said he “had the distinct feeling he (O’Neill) was genuinely interested in what we had to say.” O’Neill also asked for CUNA to follow up with him on the USA PATRIOT Act and other information, which CUNA plans to do, Dunn said. Legislative issues that arose included regulator relief and bankruptcy reform. Groups attending the meeting included the American Bankers Association, Mortgage Bankers Association, Independent Community Bankers of America, Consumer Bankers Association, Investment Company Institute, National Banks of America, and the Financial Services Roundtable.

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