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I have heard a lot of discussion regarding NAFCU’s private share insurance policy. I respect NAFCU’s concern about private share insurance. However I believe fundamentally that there is nothing wrong with the concept of private share insurance, and therefore I disagree with NAFCU’s policy. NCUA frequently makes the mistake of correlating cause and effect in policy matters. Credit unions get into trouble with real estate loans, therefore real estate lending is bad. You could say the same about business loans, indirect lending, CMO investments or corporate credit unions. I’m sorry to see that NAFCU has adopted that logic and applied it to private share insurance. I know that the leadership we have in the credit union movement can do a better job of managing private share insurance. We have the skill, we have the assets, and we have good reason to do so. The dual charter system is good for credit unions, and it is more credible if there is a private insurance option. The credit union mantra ought to be that choice is good. Good for members, good for credit unions, and good for the public. A good policy for NAFCU would be to let credit unions and their members decide what is best for them. NAFCU can help by joining credit unions and their leaders to make American Share Insurance (ASI) a better private insurer. I respect the NAFCU leadership. These are people of high character and great ability. But many credit unions and their leaders will see the private share insurance policy as a self serving attempt by NAFCU to shift the playing field in favor of a federal charter at a time when the state charter is in the ascendancy. I know that is not the case, but absent any real debate to make the case for whatever reasons led to this policy, most credit union leaders will assume that NAFCU’s motives were self serving. NAFCU will find itself farther from the mainstream of credit unions. The schism between credit unions and between their trade associations is the real tragedy. We are not strong individually. The bankers and our other enemies will take cheer from this division among credit unions. I am grateful that NAFCU supported corporates shortly after the Cap Corp debacle when CUNA and others did not. Therefore I understand and value that among friends there can and often must be differences of opinion. I only wish that this difference over private share insurance could have remained a difference of opinion rather than an adamant policy. Henry W. Wirz President SAFE Credit Union North Highlands, Calif.

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