ALEXANDRIA, Va. (10/15/08)—National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Chairman Michael Fryzel assured a national television audience Tuesday that credit unions are a safe, secure source for loans and savings. Appearing on Fox Business Network’s “Money for Breakfast” with Alexis Glick, Fryzel reminded that credit unions are member-owned cooperatives and, as such, do not pay dividends to share holders. The cooperative structure, he said, often enables credit unions to pay higher yields and charge lower rates on loans. Fryzel also underscored the message that while credit unions are either federally chartered or state chartered, nearly all are federally insured up to $250,000 per account, according to the NCUA. “By and large credit unions loans and investments have not been affected by the economic turmoil,” Chairman Fryzel noted. “NCUA was encouraged to see credit unions included in recent legislative changes that will ensure access to liquidity and asset programs if need arises.” Fryzel also commented on the newly announced Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) Capital Purchase Program, a voluntary program announced Tuesday by the U.S. Treasury Department. The program is intended to encourage the country’s financial institutions to build capital to increase the flow of financing to both businesses and consumers and to bolster the economy. A key provision of the progam is that financial institutions must decide by Nov. 14 to participate or not. "I have had contact at the highest level of the Treasury Department, and am in the process of assessing the Program’s applicability to credit unions. I have also directed staff to determine how prevalent non-interest bearing accounts are within the credit union industry, and how credit unions offering these types of accounts could be affected by participation in the Capital Purchase Program,” Fryzel said. He also directed viewers to the agency website to locate a credit union or learn more about credit union insurance protection.