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WASHINGTON – Noting a recent report from the General Accounting Office, Senate Banking Committee Ranking Member Paul Sarbanes (D-Md.) told attendees of CUNA’s Governmental Affairs Conference that additional data collection is necessary on credit union service. “I think it’s important for credit unions to stay true to their historic roots,” Sarbanes said, including serving those of modest means. “Access to mainstream financial institutions such as credit unions is the first step to economic citizenship,” he continued. Sarbanes expressed concern over the limited data about income characteristics of credit union members as well as mortgage lending data. Generally, he said, “I think there needs to be more data on the lending and service activities of credit unions.” CUNA Vice President of Communications and Media Outreach Pat Keefe said in response to Sarbanes’ remarks, “We have to work with him on that and find a way we can meet his needs without added burden.” The problem is, NAFCU President and CEO Fred Becker said, “There is no systemic, uniform way to collect this data across the credit union community given the breadth of size of credit unions.” Some credit unions would actually have to go through file cabinets and manually pull paperwork, he explained.

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