Paying Board Members Hurts Cooperative CU Difference

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I have been in the credit union industry in some manner for more 20 years and have watched the credit union industry seem to do everything in its power to be like banks and then complain when the banks attack them for not being taxable like a bank. Every year it seems like the credit union industry has a credit union add a service or product that banks have had for years and then when the credit unions are attacked for being like banks they cry foul and fall back on the fact that we're non-profit. With the economy being what it is and the government looking at everyone but themselves as a source of taxation, credit unions would do well to pull in their bank-like activities and sit back with what they have for a while.

Paying board members is just another example of trying to get what a bank has and once again brings credit unions to the attention of the banking industry and the Federal Government. I realize that paying board members would make the job of finding credible applicants for the board much easier, but is it worth jeopardizing the benefits we now have? Southeast Financial Credit Union, by getting its bill (allowing credit unions in Tennessee to pay board members) passed is just making it a little bit easier for us to lose our current tax-free status, which would be putting a massive burden on many credit unions.

Roger A. Licht, President

Credit Union One, Fond Du Lac, Wis.

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