Credit Union Times Vol. 14, No. 34 August 20, 2003
Looking back two years ago finds the Wall Street Journal shining a spotlight on bankers' "creative methods" of reducing their tax burden. According to WSJ many of the largest banks created registered investment companies to avoid state taxes in 1999 and 2000. In WSJ''s review of Securities and Exchange Commission documents, a minimum of 10 major banks moved over $17 billion into these investment funds. "I don't see how anybody can't be struck by the irony in the bankers' behavior as they repeatedly press the case to repeal the nonprofit credit union tax exemption on Capitol Hill while at the same time the Wall Street Journal article clearly suggests their true motivation seems to be greed," said NAFCU SVP and General Counsel Bill Donovan. That issue also finds NCUA Chairman Dennis Dollar questioning whether credit union members understand the implications of converting to a thrift. "Demutualization of many credit unions could occur unwittingly by members who are not fully informed that they could be losing their member-ownership status in just two years if the thrift were to become a stockholder-owned bank," said Dollar. "I support the right of credit union members to change the institution's structure and charter however all members should be fully and completely informed through an effective disclosure process."