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WASHINGTON — As a result of hearings in the House Ways and Means Committee late in 2005, NCUA and the Government Accountability Office released data recently outlining credit union service to those of modest means and providing executive compensation data; GAO also performed a study of NCUA’s objectivity. The two studies came out with somewhat differing viewpoints based on the information analyzed. NCUA surveyed a statistically valid sample of federal credit unions, while the GAO relied on data collected as part of the Federal Reserve’s most recent Survey of Consumer Finance. NCUA’s data showed that federal credit unions are generally serving whom they were chartered to serve. NCUA’s Member Service Assessment Pilot program report illustrated that 60% of all federal credit union member households earned $60,000 or less, 82% earned $75,000 or less, and 96% earned $100,000 or less, based on 2000 Census data. NCUA’s report said this mix of diverse income levels is crucial to “an economically viable credit union system.”

By comparison, NCUA pointed out, nationally, 85% of U.S. households earned $100,000 or less, according to the 2000 census.

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