Credit Unions Are Safe & Sound
Resources to Help You Communicate with Members Following the Recent, High-Profile Bank Failures
While federal regulators are working diligently to contain damage to the financial system caused by recent, high-profile bank failures, it’s important to note that the Commonwealth’s credit unions remain a safe, federally insured banking option for Virginians. We’ll help our members weather whatever unfolds in the coming days, knowing that we remain a safe haven and sound choice for those seeking a financial services partner that puts them first.
Talking Points for Members
- Credit unions are different by design from stockholder-owned, for-profit banks. Credit unions are structured as member-owned, not-for-profit, democratically controlled financial cooperatives, focused on providing everyday banking services that help members like you buy a home, finance a car or save for retirement.
- That unique, not-for-profit cooperative structure fosters a decidedly different business philosophy, as well. We put our members first: serving your needs and ensuring your financial well-being is the sole reason we exist. It also holds us accountable to you and to your fellow members.
- The decisions about what products and services we offer are made in your best interest.
- As a democratically controlled cooperative, our board of directors is comprised of people just like you who are members of the credit union. That's one more way we are held accountable to you, and to the other members.
- As a cooperative, we invest our earnings in ways that benefit our members. Our cooperative, not-for-profit structure is also the reason our interest rates for both our loan and savings products are so competitive. It also means fewer fees, and those we do charge are much more consumer-friendly than those of banks. Our structure and philosophy also means you'll find services here that you will not find elsewhere, including programs that teach personal skills, budgeting, homebuying and the wise use of credit.
- Your money is safe. The National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund insures your money, and it is protected up to at least $250,000 per individual depositor. For more information, visit mycreditunion.gov/share-insurance. Here is a reassuring fact: no credit union member has ever lost a penny of insured savings held in a federally insured credit union! In fact, we're happy to talk to you about maximizing your insurance coverage. Just reach out to us.
- We're here to help. If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
- If you have friends or family members who are concerned about bank failures in the news, tell them about credit unions’ accountable, safe, not-for-profit cooperative structure.
Tools for Credit Unions
Your League hosted a March 22 roundtable to discuss the recent high-profile bank failures and their impact on the financial marketplace and what we're hearing in Washington from lawmakers and regulators.
Help members maximize their share insurance! Through League InfoSight, our credit unions can access the Account Insurance Estimator to help communicate NCUSIF insurance coverage. Easily answer your members' questions about the availability of additional coverage. We've had a handful of product demo webinars to showcase the service, but you can learn more here.
Sample News Release for Credit Unions
We have a sample news release you can use to reassure members and your communities. (Courtesy of our good friends at the GoWest Credit Union Association). View the Word document.
What Your League is Doing
- League President/CEO Carrie Hunt penned an editorial that’s been distributed across the Commonwealth. In it, she notes that credit unions remain a safe, sound and federally insured haven for Virginians seeking a financial services partner that puts them first.
- During our quarterly Compliance Webinar today, we covered some of the tools available to credit unions in the unlikely event recent market shocks impact liquidity at Virginia-based credit unions, including the Federal Reserve’s Bank Term Funding Program.
- In a communication to members and during our recent Compliance Webinar, we noted that the League is closely monitoring discussions by policymakers related to regulation in the aftermath of SVB/Signature Bank. We urge policymakers to consider a targeted, tailored approach to addressing any regulatory issues brought to light in reviewing these bank failures. Credit unions and our members should not suffer for the failings of a few institutions or those institutions’ regulators.
- We remain engaged with our Congressional delegation on this issue, reminding lawmakers that these bank failures involved institutions that operated under a very different business model from the tried-and-true, consumer-focused “savings and loans” model that defines member-owned, not-for-profit credit unions. That fact demands lawmakers’ careful consideration in any discussions and investigations they pursue in reviewing these bank failures.
- We remain in contact with leaders at the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), related to tools for credit unions to manage the fallout from the bank failures, as well as the challenging rate environment and potential liquidity issues. League President/CEO Carrie Hunt attended the NCUA Board's March 16 meeting, which featured statements from all three board members related to the safety and soundness of America's credit unions and the strength of the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund.
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