CUNA Chairman Fires Back on Banks' United Front Against CURIA
WASHINGTON-In response to a recent letter to Congress sent jointly from the three major national banking trade associations in opposition to CURIA, CUNA Chairman Juri Valdov, CEO of Northwest Federal Credit Union, urged Congress to reject the bankers' rhetoric. Valdov's letter to lawmakers came after the American Bankers Association, America's Community Bankers, and the Independent Community Bankers of America asked members of the House not to support the Credit Union Regulatory Improvements Act (H.R. 2317). He urged legislators to regard the bankers' letter "as merely obstructionist tactics designed to hobble or hold back credit unions from fulfilling their role of serving their members." He continued, "The irony of the bankers' joint letter opposing congressional support for CURIA is that it maintains that the legislation would place `tax-paying financial institutions at a greater competitive disadvantage.' This specious claim is made the day after banks have announced their most profitable year ever (with $134.2 billion in profits). On top of that, the so-called `community banks' themselves have identified other community banks as their greatest competitive threat." Valdov pointed out that the bankers were essentially arguing against their own capital standards if they had a problem with risk-based capital for credit unions. He added that SBA began allowing credit unions into its programs to help fill the decline in credit available to small business owners, yet the bankers are opposed to credit unions' expansion in the market. Additionally, he stated that the NCUSIF has never cost taxpayers a dime. "I hope you will take these points into consideration when reading the latest banker missive, or any others developed and delivered to you at the direction of the reactionary banker leadership," Valdov concluded. "Credit unions merely want to serve their consumer members as effectively as possible; CURIA gives them the tools for doing just that."