Agency Working to Ensure Credit Union Members Receive Needed Services
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Nov. 2, 2012) – Credit unions up and down the Eastern Seaboard are working to restore services to members in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, and the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) continues to support those efforts.
“After major natural disasters, Americans come together and help each other,” NCUA Board Chairman Debbie Matz said. “NCUA is doing its part to assist credit unions and their members in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. Our examiners along the East Coast are checking with their credit unions to provide support and assistance; our consumer experts are answering the many financial questions that members may have; and we’re expediting consideration of credit union emergency grant applications. NCUA will continue to do what’s needed to help.”
Most Credit Unions Fully Operational
On Tuesday, NCUA activated its disaster relief policy. Since then, the agency has been carefully monitoring the status of more than 2,000 credit unions in the storm’s path. NCUA field staff has sought to contact all credit unions in states affected by Hurricane Sandy. Credit unions have reported problems like electrical outages, communications difficulties, and facility damages.
The vast majority of federally insured credit unions are fully operational; however, some are closed, and others are operating partially with branch closures, in temporary facilities, or with only ATM services. Affected credit unions are working to quickly restore normal operations.
A list of known credit unions affected by the storm is available on NCUA’s Hurricane Sandy Information webpage
. The list covers credit unions temporarily closed by the storm or in non-operational status. NCUA will update this information as new data becomes available.
Consumer Assistance Hotline Calls Increase
NCUA has also expanded the agency’s consumer assistance hotline to answer financial questions related to the emergency. NCUA is experiencing a higher-than-usual call volume as a result of the storm on the agency’s hotline. Hurricane Sandy-related questions have typically included inquiries about:
- the operational status of specific credit union facilities,
- outages of credit union ATMs facilities, websites and phones, and
- the status of direct deposits.
Credit union members needing emergency assistance related to Hurricane Sandy may call NCUA’s toll-free at (800) 755-1030 and press the appropriate option. Operators answer calls Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Eastern time.
As always, member accounts at federally insured credit unions remain fully protected. Administered by NCUA, the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund insures credit union accounts up to $250,000.
First Urgent Needs Initiative Grant Approved
Through the Urgent Needs Initiative, NCUA provides grants to low-income credit unions (LICUs) to help restore operations and fix facilities after natural disasters and other unexpected adverse events. NCUA is committed to quickly reviewing grant requests.
NCUA received the first Hurricane Sandy-related request for a grant Oct. 31, and approved the application Nov. 1. New York University Federal Credit Union will use the grant to restore service to members by replacing destroyed laptop computers and obtaining secure Internet access.
NCUA is the independent federal agency created by the U.S. Congress to regulate, charter and supervise federal credit unions. With the backing of the full faith and credit of the U.S. Government, NCUA operates and manages the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund, insuring the deposits of more than 96 million account holders in all federal credit unions and the overwhelming majority of state-chartered credit unions. At
Pocket Cents, NCUA also educates the public on consumer protection and financial literacy issues..