I just finished your editor’s column in the Oct. 12 issue ["BofA, Tech CU Are Not the Enemy"], and I must say you hit the nail on the head.
While I support the argument that credit unions are far better for the consumers than banks are, you are right in acknowledging that it is up to the membership of any credit union to determine what is best for it. The difference between a stockholding bank and credit union was made very clear to me again by a recent conversation with me uncle, who has many years in a bank and recently retired. Not only do banks focus on earning every possible dollar from its customers, they also strive to squeeze every ounce of productivity out of their employees!
While CUNA, NAFCU and other associations need to encourage credit unions to remain credit unions, they also need to be very careful when commenting on conversions. There is no need, as you said, to twist the facts or to make implications at what might happen down the road. The main goal is to serve our membership, and if converting is what is needed they should get our blessings.
My last comment is on the BofA fees. It is funny that no one is pointing out all the extra stuff they get from being a BofA customer: great online services, tons of branches and ATM’s and any product they can think of. I am in no way a supporter or fan of BofA, but they offer a lot.
My fear is that the Durbin amendment will have negative side effects–namely brought on by the CFPB. Banks and credit unions may be forced to charge new fees which will not be popular with Washington and as a result the CFPB may get more involved in protecting the consumer. Not good for anyone.
GHS Federal Credit Union