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To mark International Credit Union Day, the Georgia Credit Union Affiliates released results of a poll that showed the recession is causing Georgia consumers to spend far less than a year ago. And more than two-thirds of the 1,000 consumers questioned said their spending habits have now changed “forever,” and only 13% said they plan to spend more this year than a year ago, said the league in releasing findings of its statewide “Georgia Credit Unions’ Century of Good Advice” poll. The survey by GCUA staffers was taken in early October to showcase credit union awareness and to “honor the 100th anniversary celebration,” linked in with media interviews across the state. Those interviews detailed how Georgia residents are getting “smarter about saving money” by using credit unions, said the GCUA. Also part of the GCUA poll promotion on ICU Day was the posting of new videos on its Web site and on YouTube and Facebook of interviews with eight seniors giving financial advice to young people. Meanwhile in Michigan during ICU week, a key lawmaker went out of his way to praise the role of credit unions for their role in the foreclosure crisis and for vigorous advocacy of financial trust at a critical time. “The role that credit unions play in their communities as beacons of trust, of bedrocks that the people we represent know they can count on has never been more important,” said state Rep. Andy Coulouris, D-Saginaw, at a lunch sponsored by the Michigan Credit Union League in Lansing. Calling the league’s grassroots advocacy team “the best in the state,” the Saginaw lawyer and House committee head said no trade group “does a better job advocating in our districts, making our jobs as proponents of credit unions easy.” Coulouris, a former county prosecutor, also thanked the league for its role in creating a new law that temporarily freezes the foreclosure process while lenders and borrowers work out a plan. He cited the law as “one of the most important things the state has done this year.” In Pennsylvania, credit unions joined in the celebrations with lobby receptions, raffles and balloon races. But the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association was miffed that the American Bankers Association used Oct. 15 as the day to promote one of its financial literacy ventures, “Get Smart about Credit Day.” The PCUA, in its e-mail bulletin under the headline, “Banks Attempt to Steal ‘Credit Union Day,” said it was suspicious about the real ABA intent when it picked Oct. 15 to advertise its campaign aimed at reaching young adults. “There are 365 days a year, and they decide to pick today?” said a PCUA spokesman, who also poked fun at the “use of a 1960s TV comedy” to highlight the ABA effort. ABA officials said the Oct. 15 a coincidence and called any fuming by credit unions “ridiculous.” –[email protected]

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