Re: the debate over credit unions versus banks (Paul Nadler's Aug. 17 column and readers' letters on Aug. 27 and Sept. 3), credit unions are certainly not the only sources of speedy loans, courtesy, and friendliness. A great many bankers still serve customers in this way.
Whether credit unions are not-for-profit and democratically controlled is not the issue, either.
The products of both banks and credit unions are the same. When a loan is made and interest is earned on that loan, banks have to report and pay taxes on the interest earned. Credit unions do the same and pay no tax.
A bank lends money to a customer to purchase a home and becomes subject to the Community Reinvestment Act. A credit union making the same type of mortgage loan does not.
One business offering a service for a fee and paying taxes is at a distinct disadvantage to the exact same type of business offering the exact same type of service and not paying the exact same type of tax.
I am a fair-minded person, but somehow this does not seem fair to me.
William R. Freeman
Vice president and trust officer,
Greenfield (Mass.) Savings Bank