Magazine article American Banker

Letter to the Editor: Credit Unions and Banks Have Common Ground

Magazine article American Banker

Letter to the Editor: Credit Unions and Banks Have Common Ground

Article excerpt

To the Editor:

I am writing in response to your recent "Perspective" by Bradley E. Rock ["Bankers Win When They Speak with One Voice," Community Banking, Nov. 1, page 2], which contained excerpts from his speech at the American Bankers Association's annual convention.

His rallying cry to the soon-to-be-combined membership of two distinct associations is understandable. He will certainly have his hands full as he tries to manage the interests and diverse needs of these two membership groups. However, to excoriate credit unions for the purposes of inspiring his troops simply rings hollow. He cites two examples of credit unions whose practices we, too, have said are an aberration and certainly aren't indicative of the remarkable work performed each day by thousands of dedicated volunteers and managers on behalf of America's credit union members.

To paint all credit unions with the same brush is to make glib generalizations that simply aren't true.

While there is no doubt that the financial services industry has become more competitive, credit unions' market share has not changed. Credit unions account for merely 6% of all financial institution assets. When margins get squeezed at banks and thrifts, as they currently are at credit unions, it is not credit unions that are the cause, but the economy as a whole and interest rate movements.

Credit unions did not contribute to the bank and thrift crisis of the 1980s, which has had a significant effect on the size of the banking community and cost taxpayers billions, as noted in a recent report by the General Accountability Office. …

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