Matz Stresses New Markets

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In remarks before NAFCU's annual meeting here, NCUA Board Member Debbie Matz said the key to CUs' future lies in remembering their past.

"This year, as we commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the Federal Credit Union Act, credit union ideals have clearly stood the test of time. As long as credit unions stay true to the American ideals embedded in their heritage," Matz stated, "they can reach new markets with millions of new members and overcome many of the most important challenges they face today."

As she has in other recent remarks, Matz urged credit unions to recognize that the country is reaching a point where there is no ethnic majority, and that breathing life into new member growth-which has declined to less than 2% annually-will mean reaching new groups "unfamiliar to most credit unions. You can make your credit union a living example of the great melting pot," she said.

Specifically, Matz explained how adhering to these ideals can help overcome slowing membership growth, falling mortgage market share, and threats of taxation.

Matz similarly noted that credit unions' share of the mortgage market is down from 2.5% a year ago to 2.3% today, and called for extending affordable mortgages to more people as a means of increasing that share.

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