The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) recently launched a nationwide campaign calling on policymakers to “Wake Up” to the risky practices, costly tax subsidies, and irresponsibly lax oversight of the nations credit unions. According to the ICBA, the campaign is designed to encourage policymakers to open their eyes to the growing threats posed by these financial firms’ abandonment of their founding mission facilitated by their captive federal regulator, the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA).
The League has been, and continues to, monitor these unwarranted and unfounded bank attacks. We continually engage with banking associations that are constantly and aggressively pushing Nebraska lawmakers at both the state and federal level to oppose all credit union expansion legislation. Most recently the bankers have taken their battle to the courts as well.
The fact that these unhinged attacks and anti-credit union campaigns continue is a bit of a head scratcher. Big banks continue to expand market share in Nebraska and pose the biggest competitive challenge to small institutions, including community banks, yet they banking trades continue to drone their spurious arguments against credit unions.
In countering the bank attacks the best defense is a good offense. Credit unions should be regularly and proactively telling their story to policymakers on how they are making a positive and irrefutable impact on the lives of their members and communities in which they serve.
Over the course of the next couple of months the League will be rolling out it’s ‘Tell Your Credit Union Story’ campaign. Credit unions and their members have impactful stories of extraordinary service and the time to tell those stories is now. There is no question that what credit unions do for their members daily is not ordinary in the broader sense of the financial services marketplace. Providing cooperative financial services based on service, not profit should be celebrated not vilified.
As always, the League will continue to monitor any and all anti-credit union attacks and employ the strategies and resources necessary to protect member credit unions and the business model they operate under.