CUNA Again Blasts Banks For 'Hypocrisy' As Record Profits Are Posted

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CUNA is once again calling the banking industry hypocritical following another record quarter for profits.

According to the FDIC, banks reported net income of $34.3 billion for the first quarter of 2005, surpassing the previous quarterly record of $32.4 billion set in the third quarter of 2004.

"It has never been as lucrative as it is right now to be a banker, or to hold as powerful a position in the financial services marketplace-or to be as hypocritical," said CUNA President Dan Mica.

Mica also pointed out the banking industry's ongoing opposition to any legislation that will modernize credit union service to members-specifically the Credit Union Regulatory Improvements Act, while at the same time continuing to lobby for their own regulatory relief and additional tax breaks.

CUNA noted that commercial banks and savings institutions' first-quarter profits represented a 7.7% improvement over the industry's year-earlier results. The FDIC said the positive effects of reduced expenses for bad loans and the absence of significant merger-related costs were major factors in the industry's earnings surge. The FDIC further reported that bank and thrift assets grew by $178 billion in the first quarter of 2005.

"If the banks continue that rate of growth for the remaining three quarters of the year, their assets will have grown by an amount greater (by $44 billion) than all the assets of credit unions at the end of 2004," said Mica.

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