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Wisconsin league Banks distort facts to deflect failures
PEWAUKEE, Wis. (3/6/08)--"It's nothing but the same old broken record. What banks are doing is deflecting attention from their own failures by distorting facts about credit unions," said Brett Thompson, president/CEO of the Wisconsin Credit Union League. The Wisconsin Bankers Association's (WBA) support for an amended state bill that would subject large credit unions to the same type of Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) regulations banks must follow for their failure to meet financial needs in their communities, particularly those of low-income customers, said the league. The amended bill, AB 897, would require credit unions with more than $100 million in assets to document their efforts in serving lower-income populations (News Now March 5). "Not one valid study has ever cited locally owned credit unions--whose purpose is to serve their members, not make profits--for failure to fulfill their mission, and that includes the largest credit unions," Thompson said. "Banks want to heap costly regulations on credit unions at taxpayers' expense, with no documented need for doing so," said Thompson. "Credit unions are restricted to serving only eligible members, and they've done a great job doing just that." He noted WBA ignores the evidence, including the $176 million that Wisconsin credit unions return to their 2.1 million members annually in lower rates on loans, higher rates on deposits and lower or fewer fees. "Consumers already reap these benefits from credit unions without CRA," he added. Thompson added that WBA continues to point at studies that are statistically flawed or inconclusive to mislead lawmakers and deflect attention from banks' failure to satisfy the spirit of the CRA. For a more detailed look at Thompson's comments, use the resource link.
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