Mississippi Business Journal Airs CURIA Fight
JACKSON, Miss. - Banking's grassroots push to raise CURIA complaints in local business publications came to Mississippi this month with a feature article appearing in the Mississippi Business Journal headlined "Credit Unions-Banks Battle Continues on Capitol Hill." For weeks the Mississippi Credit Union Association has been bracing for the CURIA attack and "based on some questions I got from a reporter which sounded like standard banker rhetoric," the trade group expected a harshly negative, said Charles Elliott, president and CEO. However, the Aug. 7 news story. said Elliott, did contain positive CU views on CURIA though it still had swipes from an American Bankers Association spokesman charging CURIA proponents represent the "new breed" CU undermining financial competition. The article did include a defense of the tax exemption and an explanation of the CU nonprofit structure with passages also contrasting banking's asset and loan dominance in Mississippi over CUs. The article noted that banks hold 99% of business loans in the state with CUs at .004% and banks retain $42.1 billion in assets against CUs' $2.6 billion Another section highlighted the role of CUs in serving middle income mentioning Keesler FCU of Biloxi, the state's largest. It said the average deposit for 56% of Keesler members is about $100 and many of these members "would not qualify to open a bank account" so they turn to a CU, said the article.