“My friends, I want to talk for a few minutes with the people of the United States about banking.” With those words, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s voice entered America’s living rooms for the first of his famous fireside chats.

He described the causes of the “bad banking situation” that America faced, and set in motion a series of initiatives to renew and revitalize America’s financial institutions. One of those legislative initiatives was the Federal Credit Union Act, which became law 80 years ago this week.

The law paved the way for creating the NCUA as an independent regulatory body, and laid the groundwork for the credit union system that today serves more than 97 million members and manages more than $1.1 trillion in assets.

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