GULFPORT, Miss. (10/22/08)--An official with Keesler FCU, Biloxi, Miss., was quoted about credit union safety and soundness in a local newspaper article, which led in part to an editorial that praised credit unions for providing financial security. Josh Duncan, Keesler assistant vice president of lending, was quoted in an Oct. 12 article in The Sun Herald. "We have actually seen an increase in the number of car loan applications in the past couple of months. We approved more car loans in September 2008 than we did in September 2007," Duncan told the paper. "Our approval percentage is also up over last year. We have been consistently approving more home loans as well. "Homeowner's insurance is still the key factor on the coast concerning the local real estate market. Keesler FCU continues to follow conservative underwriting guidelines. We are here willing and able to make loans to our membership," he added. The article also mentioned that business at the $1.607 billion-asset Keesler FCU is better than a year ago. Afterward, an Oct. 14 editorial in the paper said: “Not only are our banks and credit unions secure, they are still very much in the business of lending money. They're just lending it the old-fashioned way: to people who can be expected to repay it … When have South Mississippians ever been able to go to their local bank or credit union and receive a loan for anything, much less a home, based on anything but their own credit worthiness? “Never, that we know of … a more conservative approach to credit and debt by local financial institutions is now paying dividends. For that, we can all be thankful,” the editorial concluded.