RENO, Nev. -- Another round of print banker attacks loom next month for Nevada credit unions, but this time around the industry is prepared and "we will be less upset" having gained new confidence, according to the chairman of the Nevada Credit Union League.
"We're ready for anything they throw at us," vowed Bruce Rodela, the league head and president/CEO of Frontier Financial CU of Reno.
What might come in September is a possible tax-exemption and "mega credit union" barrage from a contingent of community bankers voicing their views in a featured "Bankers Roundtable" article appearing in the Nevada Business Journal.
Three years ago Nevada bankers spearheaded by a Las Vegas bank affiliate of Zions Bancorporation of Utah complained about the tax-exemption and CU expansion in a series of articles in the Business Journal and elsewhere as part of a coordinated campaign.
The Nevada League demanded and eventually received an "equal time" rebuttal article in 2005.
What's changed this year?
"I think the bankers realized they were beating a dead horse," said Rodela adding this year "their profits are so good" and so he could not imagine them trying that again. Moreover, the anti-CU message has not played well in the legislature occupied with other issues.
Because of various constraints, he said, the publication did not include another "Credit Union Roundtable" in 2006 as it did a year ago but on that "we are not overreacting," said Rodela. For this year's edition, the banker delegation is expected to assemble this month in Las Vegas, where the publication is headquartered, for a meeting with the editorial staff.
Nearly two years ago, Nevada CU executives did the same thing by meeting with the publication's publisher and editors in a recorded session of which portions were later printed verbatim.
Meanwhile, Rodela said his own Reno CU continues to expand in eight northern Nevada counties having changed its name from Washoe CU to better reflect a trade, industry, profession-like charter it received from the state to serve health care and government employees.
Nevada maintains a parity statute and adopted a TIPS structure along the lines of NCUA's formula in which a professional grouping is allowed, said Rodela.