NCUA Launches Campaign To Quell Consumer Concerns About CUs

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ALEXANDRIA, Va. – NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz on Tuesday began a nationwide radio campaign to alert consumers of the full faith and credit of the federal government insuring their credit union deposits, part of a comprehensive effort by NCUA to tamp down worries about the nation’s credit unions.

Matz’s radio spots, part of the agency’s "Keep your money NCUA-safe" campaign, coincides with the launch of NCUA TV commercials, featuring nationally known consumer financial expert Suze Orman, and comes as the credit union system is being besieged by negative publicity related to the growing costs of the corporate credit union bailout.

Matz appeared yesterday on drive-time radio programs in Dallas, Houston, San Francisco and Tampa, statewide radio networks in Arizona and California, and three national radio networks: Dow Jones MarketWatch, Fox Radio and the Wall Street Journal Radio Network. Tomorrow, the NCUA Chairman will appear on Federal News Radio, a network focusing on federal workers.

Matz told listeners of her interest in making sure that “everybody knows if you have money in a federally insured credit union, it's protected up to $250,000 per account.” NCUA has also created a new website with links to video ads and other information. The site also features an "e-calculator" which will help users find out how much of their money is "NCUA-safe." The calculator will tell members what they can do if their account is not 100% protected.

The unprecedented NCUA public relations initiative comes amid headlines across the nation proclaiming credit union bailouts and intensified concerns among credit union members of the growing costs of the corporate bailout and of efforts to replenish losses by the National CU Share Insurance Fund. NCUA and the credit union system hope the growing crisis does not cause a panic among credit union members and the general public. CUNA reported this week that $5.6 billion in deposits flowed out of credit unions in August after $3.7 billion in deposits flowed out in July – a total of $9.3 billion over two months.

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