Attacks Upon CUs Are Derided By NACCU Chair

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National Association of Community CUs Chair Marc Schaefer derided banking industry attacks on the credit union tax exemption-particularly those aimed at community charters-saying an attack on community credit unions is an attack on the communities they serve.

"NACCU represents credit unions that have embraced service to their communities," said Schaefer, who is also CEO of Truliant FCU. "In fact, NACCU member credit unions are the community; they are the teachers, the nurses, the small business owners, the firefighters, the factory workers, the police officers, the civil servants, the constructions workers and more. The community credit union is indistinguishable from the community for they have and continue to provide the resources for members of the community to build their financial lives in a cost effective manner that vividly illustrates how financial cooperatives help bootstrap financial self-sufficiency."

Although Truliant CU is not a community-chartered CU, Schaefer said his credit union joined NACCU because Truliant feels strongly about its mission to serve the various communities in which the CU has members. Truliant, formerly AT&T Family FCU, was the subject of the landmark lawsuit and Supreme Court decision that ultimately led to the Credit Union Membership Access Act.

"When the banking industry pursues the strategy of attacking community credit unions, they are attacking the very communities they purport to serve. They are asking Congress to create a monopoly by type of financial institution," Schaefer stated.

In his comments, Schaefer suggested that if the CU tax exemption is repealed, Congress will be setting up communities across the nation to lose far more than they stand to gain.

"Community credit unions play a significant role in the economic benefit to their communities. Trading this long-term, substantial benefit for a small potential net gain of around $300 million in tax revenue is clearly not in the public interest," he said. "A decision to tax credit unions; be they large or small, multi-occupational or community will inexorably change the future of all credit unions. The change in structure will redirect the focus from improving the quality of members' financial lives to maximizing the financial results for the institution and the stockholder."

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