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MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica-NCUA Board Member Deborah Matz told attendees of CUNA’s Volunteer Leadership Institute in Jamaica last week that volunteers hold the future of credit unions in their hands. “You have helped reduce the number of high-risk credit unions to near an all-time low,” Matz told her audience. “With more than 9,500 federally insured credit unions in America today, only 211 are CAMEL codes 4 or 5. You are doing such a good job protecting credit unions’ safety and soundness, it makes our jobs easier at NCUA.” Matz paralleled credit union board volunteers’ role with NCUA’s in that they both have to work to help credit unions balance risks. “We don’t want to prevent credit unions from taking risks. We want to help credit unions manage risks,” she emphasized. Matz speculated that the biggest potential risk on credit unions’ horizon is taxation. However, credit union volunteers can help prevent this “by making sure your credit union serves everyone in your field of membership. Single mothers, recent immigrants, hourly workers, first-time homebuyers, and victims of predatory lenders all need a financial institution they can trust. Your credit union can provide everyone in your field of membership with access to low-cost, high-quality services.”

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