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Kansas blog Banks suppress consumers choice
TOPEKA, Kan. (2/20/08)--A blog by a credit union member in Sunday's online Topeka Capital Journal suggests that banks are trying to limit consumers' choices by pressing for a Kansas state law that limits the field of membership of credit unions. Glenda Overstreet, a volunteer in the community, wrote that she went to her credit union to conduct a transaction and was asked if she'd be willing to sign a petition against a bill banks are sponsoring in the state legislature: Kansas S.A 17-2205. The bill would limit credit union organizations to groups having a common bond of occupation or association or to groups in a well-defined neighborhood, community or rural district. She equated the choice as one of whether "to support Kansas credit union members and owners in preserving the right to select the financial institution of one's choice and to not support the banking industry's legislative efforts to eliminate consumer choice. "I signed immediately and asked for a few more forms to get to friends and relatives so they could sign as well," Overstreet wrote. Although she's not against banks, she said, "I'm against any effort that would restrict the freedom of choice because I believe competition keeps companies focused on ensuring quality customer service." Overstreet urged readers to support the Kansas Credit Union Association-backed House Bill 2676, in which credit unions define who they are able to serve. HB 2676 indicates that membership of a credit union may include any combination of one or more groups of both large and small membership having common bonds of occupations, associations or geographic areas. Geographic areas in the bill mean "all or portions of one or more counties." Many people believe "many banks, with the exception of a few, don't meet the needs of the community when it comes to providing financial alternatives for small-business loans, emergency personal loans or financial matters that help meet low-income or working-poor challenges," Overstreet said. Use the resource link to access the full article.
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