Nevada CUs Plan 'Modest' Future

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ANAHEIM, Calif.-Conditions remain far from golden in the Silver State, according to the new chairman of the Nevada Credit Union League.

"Economically, Nevada is still in a recession and will continue to be," said Dennis Flannigan, CEO of Reno-based Great Basin FCU.

If there is any recovery coming, it will be a "modest one," predicted Flannigan, who was elected chairman of the NCUL at the league's Annual Meeting here. "So there is a need for league services. We will be doing what we can to support credit unions, including cooperative services such as CU Roots [a CUSO that is designed to allow credit unions to share back office expenses]. Nevada credit unions will have to gain additional efficiencies. We will have continued real estate lending losses for several years and that will continue to hamper us."

The NCUL has been working with the state to identify troubled mortgage holders who may be eligible for assistance from the federal government-a program Flannigan said former league chairman Wally Murray, CEO of Greater Nevada CU, Carson City, helped establish.

A Nevada-specific challenge: the state legislature meets every other year, and then for just four months. Lawmakers will be in session in 2011, and Flannigan said the "resources" of the league's government relations staff and Nevada CUs will "have to be aware and proactive." "The state has a $3-billion budget deficit, so taxation is a concern," he appraised. "If bankers are going to take a hit the first thing they do is point to credit unions. We have strong support from the leadership of both parties, but negative things can happen."

Flannigan said one of his first goals as NCUL chairman will be to work with Diana Dykstra, the new president and CEO of the California and Nevada CU Leagues, on "clarifying the league support and the important issues of concern for us. We have a need for support with both state and federal regulators. We need communication with regulators to make sure our concerns and issues are heard."

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