Stating that people look to Louisianans for inspiration, NCUA Board member Michael Fryzel commended the state’s credit unions for helping people during times of hardship.
He addressed the Louisiana Credit Union League’s annual meeting and convention Thursday, and the African American Credit Union Coalition Friday.
“Credit unions were made to help people, and most especially in times of hardship,” he said. “When it is time to join the sandbag line, credit unions band together in tough times and are there for their members. Louisiana serves as a great example of triumph over hardship and its credit unions continue to aid in helping their members overcome their own economic hardships as our country continues to move forward.”
Citing the many natural disasters Louisiana has faced recently and how credit unions helped people get through them, Fryzel updated attendees on the industry’s corporate credit union crisis and its resolution status.
“We are successfully working through the corporate problem, assisting those credit unions that have been impacted severely by the mortgage crisis and seeing our nation’s credit unions maintaining their focus on helping their members in every way they can,” he said.
Fryzel applauded the groups for their efforts to reach out to prospective members, educate their communities about the benefits of credit unions and basic financial literacy, and expand outreach particularly to minorities for prospective employment opportunities with credit unions.
“Your passion, dedication and commitment to your members are a model for what all credit unions should be,” he told the African-American Credit Union Coalition. “Although your coalition may focus on part of our nations’ consumers, you are all mainstream credit unions. The economics problems and the marketplace challenges are universal. Your institutions, and your members, are affected just like every other credit union serving every other type of membership.
“There is immense work to be done and I believe that in certain communities we have only begun to scratch the surface,” Fryzel continued. “But your presence here is proof you are willing to take on the challenge. NCUA will work with you in your efforts to improve the financial lives of persons who need better knowledge and skills to help move themselves financially forward.”
Despite challenges, Fryzel cited a brightening future. “We would all like to see the economy stronger and growing faster but, the direction going the right way. Delinquencies are declining, bottom lines are improving, and the corporates are regaining their health.”