'Empty Rhetoric' Of Banks Criticized As Profits Soar

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The nation's banks enjoyed significant profits during the first quarter of 2004, prompting CUNA to categorize the industry's criticism of credit unions as "empty rhetoric."

Data assembled by the FDIC said the 9,116 commercial banks and savings institutions it insures reported $31.9 billion in earnings during the first quarter. "Five straight quarters of record-breaking profits is more evidence that bankers' carping about being harmed by credit union competition is empty rhetoric," said CUNA President/CEO Dan Mica in a released statement.

CUNA said the financial figures for the first quarter surpassed the total for the previous quarter by $858 million (2.8%) and were $2.3 billion (8%) more than the industry earned in the first quarter of 2003.

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