BEAVERTON, Ore. (4/16/08)--Oregon consumers can rely on credit unions for financial safety and soundness, the Credit Union Association of Oregon (CUAO) said Monday. As news about turmoil in the banking industry spreads, credit unions are being commended for the services they provide. They also tend to make more conservative business decisions and investments, which helped credit unions avoid the subprime mortgage mess, the association said. “The lure of profit margins to be had in the subprime mortgage market didn’t make a lot of business sense for credit unions,” said Pamela Leavitt, CUAO senior vice president of governmental affairs and public relations. “The underlying volatility in these types of loans put up glaring red flags to credit union decision makers. The consensus credit leaders made on subprime lending was ‘no thanks.’” Credit unions offer lower loan rates and higher savings rates than banks, the association said. “Credit unions have always been, and are today, a positive in the financial marketplace. Our hope is that consumers take this opportunity to look around and see that there is another choice available to them for all their financial transactions,” Leavitt added. Oregon credit unions have served 1.4 million members since the 1920s.