WASHINGTON (10/30/08)—Although presently it appears unlikely that the credit union system will have a widespread need for capital as proposed by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) continues to seek access to the program for credit unions. In an Oct. 28 comment letter on the TARP plan, CUNA noted that credit unions generally sought to avoid the kinds of subprime mortgage lending that helped inflame the current economic meltdown. However, the letter added that the Treasury is aware that credit unions do not operate in a vacuum and therefore “will likely not totally escape problems in the broader financial markets.” CUNA also noted its plans to work with the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) to determine if the federal credit union regulator can develop TARP-like programs that would allow any federally insured credit union that needs to sell troubled assets, apply for additional capital, or obtain asset guarantees will first be able to find a credit union-funded solution before having to call upon taxpayer dollars for help. “Working through NCUA in this manner would also free up Treasury TARP funds for other institutions,” the CUNA letter noted. The TARP program was authorized under the Emergency Economic Stability Act of 2008 (EESA). The troubled assets eligible for the guarantee must have been originated or issued prior to March 14, 2008. The department’s request for comments sought guidance on how the insurance or guarantee program should be established. To read CUNA’s full comments, use the resource link below.