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LAS VEGAS – In one of his first speeches to a credit union group as vice chairman of the NCUA, Rodney Hood explained his regulatory philosophy and emphasized his interest in listening to the regulated during the Credit Union Executives Society’s Directors Conference Dec. 9. “As a regulator, I want to roll up my sleeves; dive into the issues; and garner your feedback as I seek to ensure the safety and soundness of America’s federally-chartered credit unions,” he said. Hood commended the daily efforts of credit union volunteers and professionals. “I know credit unions – you are the financial partner for members who count on you everyday, especially during such tragedies as Katrina,” he said. “Your unwavering service in your community and the access to affordable financial services for your members is to be applauded. Hats off to you for the tremendous role you play in helping your members obtain affordable mortgages; create small, viable businesses; and save for their family’s future.” He commented on his recent trip to Hope Community Credit Union in Jackson, Miss., recognized as the fastest growing credit union in the nation. “It’s a credit union that is doing great things to help folks from all walks of life achieve the American Dream of financial self-sufficiency,” Hood said. He explained how the credit union was able to bring one member’s six payday loans down to one smaller payment. For his part, Hood added, “Realizing the role that credit unions can play in being that partner and providing that opportunity, I will encourage NCUA, where the federal statutes allow, to enable credit unions to extend their services in more innovative ways to more members-in my belief that this will result in more people from all walks of life having access to lower-cost financial services and in ensuring the long-term viability of credit unions as safe and sound institutions. I believe that this NCUA Board is not only up to meeting this challenge, but is clearly poised and equipped to meet it with great success.”

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