Bankers Ask Congress To Intervene InDispute Over Underserved

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WASHINGTON - (01/11/06) – The American BankersAssociation asked Congress Tuesday to step into the expandingdispute over credit unions’ service to the underserved, nowfestering in a federal court in Utah, as well. In a letter to allsenators, the ABA charged that credit unions are using theNCUA’s underserved field of membership policy to justifymajor geographic expansions into bankers’ markets, inviolation of the law passed by Congress in 1998, HR 1151, the CUMembership Access Act. Citing several major underserved expansionsawarded by NCUA the ABA claims is in violation of the law, thebankers urged the Senate to review the credit union tax exemptionand whether credit unions are, in fact, serving lower-income peoplethrough these underserved expansions. The bankers letter comes aweek after CUNA President Dan Mica notified lawmakers of the latestABA suit and called the bankers “cynical andhypocritical” for challenging the credit unions’underserved policy while questioning whether credit unions aredoing enough to serve the underserved. The escalating disputepromises that the decades-old credit unions/bank conflict willemerge again in Congress this year, promising to affect keylegislation for both parties.

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