October 22, 2019

NAFCU bucks bank group's attempt to stifle CU competition

Pushing back against a newly launched, anti-credit union "campaign" by the Independent Community Bankers Association (ICBA), NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger immediately hit back at the ICBA's shady attempt to stifle credit union competition.dan

"This ‘campaign’ from ICBA is strangely misaligned and not pointed at their real problem – the big banks are eating the community banking industry’s lunch," said Berger. "The only mission abandoned by anyone in the financial services industry has been by banks – including community banks – who have chosen to put profit over people when they should have prioritized giving their customers good, honest service."

The ICBA initiative – riddled with falsehoods and mischaracterizations of the credit union industry – takes aim at credit unions' not-for-profit, tax-exempt status, among other misleading claims. 

However, the bankers fail to mention that the credit union tax exemption provides $16 billion in economic growth per year. Eliminating it would result in the loss of 900,000 jobs over the next decade, a shrinking of the GDP, and a net loss of revenue to the Federal government, according to a NAFCU-commissioned study. More so, banks gained $28.8 billion (FDIC estimate) in corporate tax cuts from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2018, and their Subchapter S status has resulted in almost $2 billion in tax savings per year.

Bankers have long taken issue with credit unions high satisfaction rates among consumers, and according to Berger, "the only thing community banks are really upset about is that their customers are beginning to notice that it is better to bank without bankers."

As outlined by NAFCU Executive Vice President of Government Affairs and General Counsel Carrie Hunt in a note to members yesterday, NAFCU will continue to push back against bankers' bogus, anti-credit union assertions. Additionally, the association encourages credit unions advocates to contact their lawmakers via NAFCU's Grassroots Action Center to refute these claims.

Earlier this year, Hunt published an op-ed in The Hill defending the credit union tax exemption, and Berger previously penned an op-ed in American Banker ousting bank lobbyists for their hollow campaign against the credit union industry.