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DALLAS – If Southwest Corporate’s CU CEO Confidence Index is right, ’05 isn’t going to be the best year for credit unions. The Index surveys CEOs on how they feel about their credit unions’ current financial condition and their members’ condition, as well as what they expect six months down the line. The index dropped to 38.75 in December, down from 41.06 in September and its high of 47.40 in July. “Credit union CEOs are becoming even more concerned about liquidity, loan growth and earnings,” said Brian Turner, Manager of Advisory Services for Southwest Corporate’s Investment Services. “This drop in optimism comes as credit unions have seen a rise in short-term interest rates and many are beginning to expect higher costs of funds in the very near future. This is more of an issue to those credit unions not experiencing solid loan growth,” said Turner. While overall the Index was down, it did show a modest increase for members’ current financial condition. The latest index was based on responses from 140 CU CEOs.

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