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24 I. Options For Stashing Cash Credit Unions Based on data from the World Council at the end of 2010 there were 52945 credit unions in 100 countries around the world. Collectively they served 188 million mem- bers and 1.5 trillion in assets. In the United States most commercial bank deposit services are provided to members of credit unions although their services may be limited by their smaller size. In the United States deposit insurance is provided by the National Credit Union Administration NCUA an independent federal agency that regulates charters and supervises federal credit agencies. The NCUA operates the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund with the backing of the full faith and credit of the US govern- ment. The Fund insures deposits in all fed- eral credit unions and in the overwhelming majority of state-chartered credit unions httpsen.wikipedia.orgwikiNation- al_Credit_Union_Administration Credit unions may engage in uninsured activities such as brokerage and investment advisory activities. Some maintain cred- it union service organizations which are for-profit subsidiaries that provide expanded services including insurance and investment services. US credit union insurance generally paral- lels FDIC deposit insurance 250000 per institution per depositor per ownership ac- count including single ownership accounts joint accounts and certain retirement and trust accounts. When it comes to making sure that you are covered by deposit insurance I recommend discussing the available options with a bank- er at the institution of your choice. Brokerage Firm Accessing securities through a brokerage firm typically offers the widest selection of cash management options. A brokerage firm may be an affiliate of a bank or credit union. Certain securities such as sovereign bonds may be available for purchase through banks. I like firewalls between financial providers. Consequently I prefer community banks or credit unions that are not affiliated with brokerage operations and do not have large proprietary securities or servicing operations which may present conflicts of interests. I prefer brokerage firms for securities and I do not use them for deposit or banking services. In the United States brokerage firms have access to Securities Investor Protection Corporation SIPC insurance. The SIPC is a federally mandated US corporation which is not-for-profit corporation and is funded by its members. It has authority to borrow National Credit Union Administration httpsen.wikipedia.orgwikiNational_Credit_Union_ Administration National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund NCUSIF httpsen.wikipedia.orgwikiNational_Credit_Union_Share_ Insurance_Fund NCUSIF Share Insurance Coverage httpwww.mycreditunion.govprotectPagesSI.aspx