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Using derivatives to hedge against interest rate risk is not a strategy that looms large on many credit unions’ horizons. However, those that pursue it may find significant advantages, according to Emily Hollis, a partner with ALM First, a Dallas consulting firm.

“Derivatives can serve as a valuable tool for some credit unions, offsetting the interest rate risk inherent in today’s financial environment,” Hollis said. “When used properly, derivatives allow eligible credit unions to compete more effectively, but their restrictions and guidelines must be understood and followed.”

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