New Bankers’ Chief Fires Back At CULeaders

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PALM DESERT, Calif. - (09/28/05) – A day after he was attacked bytop CUNA officials, Utah banker Harris Simmons fired back at creditunions as he was being anointed the new chairman of the AmericanBankers Association. Simmons told more than 2,000 bankers assembledfor the ABA’s annual convention he will make the effort totax credit unions his top priority during his tenure as head of thebankers’ trade association. The president and CEO of ZionsBancorp, a long-time credit union foe, told the bankers he plans touse his position as a member of the Financial Services Roundtableto work to persuade the nation's largest banks to join the fightagainst credit unions. Simmons also said he hopes to enlist thehelp of bank employees and shareholders to help fight the creditunions. The new ABA Chief’s remarks came the day after CUNAPresident Dan Mica and outgoing CUNA Chairman warned attendees toCUNA’s annual meeting that Simmons’ term as chairman ofthe ABA will be marked with increasing acrimony between the banksand credit unions. "Nobody in America," said Mica, "is morecommitted to changing the way credit unions operate than HarrisSimmons." As a result, said Mica, "next year will be our biggestchallenge."

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