JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (7/9/14)--The regular "4 Your Money" features by 121 Financial CU on Jacksonville's WJXT-TV typically offer consumer education, but during the July 5 segment, the $449 million-asset credit union took the opportunity to dispel misconceptions brought about by a national news article on credit union lending practices.
Rebecca Hulett, senior vice president/chief financial officer, 121 Financial CU, Jacksonville, Fla., explains credit unions' safety and soundness to WJXT-TV host Marques White in a "4 Your Money" segment. (WJXT-TV Photo)
The piece led off with a reference to a June 6 article in The Wall Street Journal about credit unions' interest-rate risk and if they were as safe as banks (News Now June 9).
The tone quickly changed to a positive one as Rebecca Hulett, 121 Financial CU senior vice president/chief financial officer, explained more about credit unions.
The article was "a little bit shaded toward the worrisome side," Hulett noted, adding, "In reality, credit unions have never taken these substantial risks that happened before the bubble burst in 2008, which is why credit unions survived so well throughout the financial crisis."
Hulett said that credit unions are easing lending standards slightly, but she credits that to a swing back from the "bit too far" conservative standards created by the financial crisis.
She also affirmed the insured status of credit unions--$250,000 per account by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund, the same as banks under the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.
Hulett took the opportunity to share the services that credit unions provide, how consumers can learn about the right credit union for them to join and the not-for-profit cooperative structure.
"Credit unions are member-owned, so if you hold an account at a credit union, you own the credit union and have a right to vote for the board of directors," Hulett said.