BARCELONA — When 1,054 credit union leaders gather during aworld economic crisis they talk about the economic situation.

Credit unions were hit less hard than big banks. Their loanportfolios are made under rigorous guidelines, but therepercussions of the financial crisis has rippled through theeconomies of most countries.

Patrick Fay of the Irish Credit Union League said many Irishcredit unions had invested in toxic products, causing them to losemoney. Credit unions faced a lending challenge. Flush withdeposits, they turned to these investments. Despite the problems,he said that credit unions are still properly capitalized. Thegovernment is insuring credit union funds for the first time.

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