Tightly compacted spreads have become a new reality for creditunions. And if Chairman Bernanke's plan to leave interest ratesuntouched through 2013 holds true, credit union leadership willhave no choice but to exercise their creative muscles.

Much of what keeps those muscles atrophied is a fear ofintroducing fees – even fair ones. New, better and outside-the-boxproducts and services almost always come with a cost to financialinstitutions.

How to recoup that cost is the question that impedes innovationtoday. That's because many believe the simplest way to finance anew product or service is through the implementation of fees – atactic that is off the table for many credit unions afraid ofalienating members.

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