February 06, 2020

NAFCU cites ABA's anti-CU website ahead of astroturfing hearing

Capitol DomeAs a House Financial Services subcommittee today prepares to explore astroturfing – a practice to try to advance an anti-consumer agenda under the guise of grassroots efforts – in financial services, NAFCU Vice President of Legislative Affairs Brad Thaler sent a letter flagging how credit unions have been impacted by such actions.

"Last year, NAFCU wrote to the Subcommittee regarding a Credit Union Times report that the American Bankers Association (ABA) was the secret owner of an anonymous anti-credit union website that posted misinformation about the credit union industry," Thaler wrote. "This website existed with an anonymous owner for nearly a year. When it was finally linked to the American Bankers Association, the website was taken down and removed (later returning with recognition of ABA's ownership).

"This is a prime example of astroturfing that big banks are willing to attempt in an effort to advance an anti-consumer and anti-credit union agenda," Thaler added.

Given bankers' commitment to eliminating competition in the financial services industry by purporting misleading claims about credit unions, Thaler called on the subcommittee to further investigate big banks' abuses against consumers.

Today's subcommittee hearing is set to begin at 2 p.m. Eastern and will be available to watch via livestream on the House Financial Services website.