INDIANAPOLIS -- The "Invest in America" auto loan deal, put forward this month by the Michigan Credit Union League, Midwest leagues and CUNA, won praise this week from Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) to help spur auto purchases.
Meanwhile, the American Bankers Association while lauding CUs for assisting the auto firms, suggested the favorable rates touted by CUs are misleading "since there are many banks quite competitive and offering rates below credit unions."
It's a case of CUs "muddying the apple pie" in trying to claim a favored role on auto loans, said Doug Johnson, vice president of risk management policy for the ABA.
Regarding Lugar's comments, John McKenzie, president/CEO of the Indiana league, said the senator's apparently read league letters regarding the venture, and "we got a reply this week how appreciative the senator is toward credit unions in trying to aid auto manufacturers and Indiana dealers."
Several Indiana CUs last week issued press releases announcing their participation in the "Invest" program offering members who buy GM and Chrysler vehicles price discounts and incentives coupled with lower loan rates.