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CUs, Trades Scramble To Find Alternatives To NCUA Plan

WASHINGTON-Priority No. 1 for the credit union trade groups right now: mitigating the cost of rescuing U.S. Central Corporate FCU and the corporate system.

The problem: there's no one easy way to do it. While both CUNA and NAFCU agree that NCUA's proposed Corporate Stabilization Plan, in its current format is more than just a bitter pill for the industry to swallow, there are a bevy of alternatives being bandied about.

But for as many alternatives as there are, the key issue remains NCUA's willingness to consider them. "The only response we have heard from NCUA is that it will evaluate all proposals, but so far, I am disappointed with the agency's response," NAFCU CEO Fred Becker told Credit Union Journal. "They have always said if you have some idea, put it forward. The trouble is, we put ideas forward, and they appear to go into a black hole."

As troublesome as the unresponsiveness of NCUA, as Becker put it, is the time factor. "There is a time factor at work here," said CUNA Spokesperson Pat Keefe. "That's one of the reasons there is no silver bullet, here. Some of the different plans, such as to use the Central Liquidity Fund, require legislative action by Congress, and there is no guarantee Congress will do what we want it to do," or as quickly as credit unions need it to happen.

Click on the related links at right to read about some of the alternative plans currently under consideration.