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SAN FRANCISCO – The Credit Union Economics Group met last Monday with Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco President and CEO Robert Parry and other top district staffers to provide a credit unions’ eye view of its role in consumer finance. One issue raised during the meeting was credit unions’ readiness for a changing interest rate environment. CUEG member Bob Burrell, Wescorp’s executive vice president and chief investment officer, told Parry and his staff, “Credit unions have exceptional liquidity position, so they are well prepared for a change in the interest rate environment.” The group also discussed the role of depository intermediaries and stressed credit unions’ capability to help retiring baby boomers. “Just as credit unions have provided a competitive alternative to consumer banking and borrowing, the need for broad competition will also exist in addressing retirement needs,” CUNA Mutual Chief Economist Dave Colby said. CUEG also emphasized credit unions’ work in financial education and the growing need for it. “Clearly, the credit union industry benefited by having central bankers made more aware of the critical role credit unions play in their local communities and in the overall banking system,” NAFCU Chief Economist Tun Wai, a CUEG member, said. “We believe CUEG provided president Parry and his staff with some insights they might not otherwise receive about the consumer force of credit unions. And the 12th Federal Reserve District is a good example.” The 12th Federal Reserve District is home to 1,235 credit unions and nearly 18 million members; 29 have over $1 billion in assets. It is the largest Fed district, covering nine Western states and several Pacific Islands, including Hawaii. Twelfth Federal Reserve District Economist Elizabeth Laderman and Vice President of Financial and Regional Studies Fred Furlong joined Parry at the meeting. CUEG members who participated in the meeting included Burrell, Colby, Wai, U.S. Central Credit Union Senior Vice President for Asset Liability Management Dave Dickens, Vystar Credit Union Senior Portfolio Manager Mark Del Pezzo, and NAFCU Senior Economist Jeff Taylor.

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