For months the NCUA board has promised to present next steps for the Corporate rule, the so-called legacy assets, and a possible second premium. But as important as those decisions will be, that is not the most critical event occurring in credit unions today. The number one concern in the fall elections is the slow growing American economy. Where are the jobs?
Political leaders and economists are in two camps about what next steps should be. One side says lower taxes, cut government spending. The other side says provide more Keynesian stimulus in the form of infrastructure investment and cash to stretched municipal and school budgets.
In the meantime credit unions have a third option putting hundreds of real dollars in member’s pockets every day. A quick example. A credit union closed $103 million in first mortgages in August for over 800 members. Some 80% were refi’s of existing mortgages. The minimum monthly savings from the lowered rate was over $130—a cash stimulus that continues month after month as long as the loan is outstanding.
That is not the end of the story. It’s the beginning. The pipeline two weeks later has over $600 million in applications for almost 5,000 members, mostly refis that lower costs. This is not Navy FCU, but a $1.6 billion credit union in middle America serving a community with double digit unemployment.
Credit unions across the country are providing members access to the lowest financing rates ever. Every time this occurs, the member’s spending power is increased. It’s faster, more direct and certainly more lasting than either tax cuts or stimulus spending. It is giving the average American access to the lowest rates in history—an opportunity that corporate America has used repeatedly to strengthen their bottom lines. It reduces consumers’ debt burden and helps them reset their financial lives boosting their confidence.
NCUA’s impending announcements are important. Will the NCUA Board align its actions to enhance credit unions’ unique opportunity to play a leading role in this stage of the recovery? Or will it impose a new set of costs and uncertainties across the system? On Tuesday, September 14 at 2:00 PM Eastern, Callahan & Associates will present a webinar documenting the current opportunity with examples. We will also provide a framework for a call to action for those who want to encourage the NCUA board to act in the best interests of members as well as highlighting the cooperative example at work for the American economy.
This could be the most important webinar we will offer this year. To register please go to http://www.creditunions.com/cutv/webplate.aspx?eventid=672. Members of the press may contact Leigh Anne Terry at (800) 446-7453 ext 170 or lterry @ creditunions.com for a free press pass.