Ad Criticizes CUs on Interchange and Raises Specter of Taxing Them
An ad depicting a duck with a cigar in its mouth takes aim at credit unions' tax exempt status due to widespread credit union opposition of an amendment that would give the Fed the power to regulate interchange fees.
"If it walks like a bank...Talks like a bank...Quacks like a bank...It should be taxed like a bank," the ad says from the Washington-based Democratic advocacy group American Family Voices. The ad shows a picture of a duck with a cigar sticking out of its mouth.
The ad, which appeared in Capitol Hill publications, states that credit unions are "carrying the water for credit card giants VISA and MasterCard and the big Wall Street banks that helped cause the financial crisis."
The ad notes that when credit unions attained their not-for-profit status in 1934 it was of their "unique," role in providing services for the underserved. "Now, credit unions are a $680 billion industry. This is not your grandfather's credit union," the ad says.
Supporters of the amendment, which is the Senate version of the financial overhaul bill and is, expected to be discussed by the conference committee next Tuesday, have been criticizing community banks and credit unions for being out front on the issue while the large banks and credit card companies have remained in the background.
CUNA Senior Vice President for Political Affairs Richard Gose said the ad and other criticisms proved that credit unions have been effective in making their case.
"We have been having credit union employees and members speaking to lawmakers and they are getting a positive response," Gose said.
He said credit unions aren't doing anyone else's bidding because lower fees "would have a devastating impact on the bottom line of credit unions and that's why we are involved."