CUNA Execs Take Aim At New Bankers'Chief

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SAN FRANCISCO - (09/27/05) - In an usual broadside, top CUNAexecutives criticized by name Harris Simmons, the Utah banker whois scheduled to be named chairman of the American BankersAssociation at the group's annual conference Tuesday. Under Simmonsguardianship at the bankers' group, "attacks on credit unions willonly intensify," said outgoing CUNA Chairman Dick Ensweiler duringCUNA's annual meeting Monday, who referred to the head of ZionsBancorp as the 'most rabid anti-credit unionist." "Nobody inAmerica," said CUNA President Dan Mica, "is more committed tochanging the way credit unions operates Harris Simmons." Mica saidSimmons, a long-time credit union foe, is already meeting withother banking groups to plot legislative attacks. As a result, saidMica, "next year will be our biggest challenge." Simmons has beenleading the Utah bankers' opposition to credit unions for more thana decade, succeeding in convincing the state legislature to reignin field of membership powers and to launch an unsuccessful effortto enact tax on state charters, forcing all of the state's biggestcredit unions to convert to the tax-exempt shield of the federalcharter.

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