Fresh off last week’s GAC Hike the Hill, CUNA is stepping up its counterattack against the banking lobby over member business lending with its own set of political ads and talking point responses for CEOs.
The latest series of ads, which brought a vigorous response from the American Bankers Association and the Independent Community Bankers of America in a series of radio spots, appeared last week in a number of Capitol Hill publications – Roll Call, The Hill, Politico and others all aimed at countering ABA and ICBA messaging to congressmen.
The CUNA ads all “discussed the merits of giving small business more access to capital through credit unions” while the banker messaging over the weekend seized on the conservatorship of the $318 million Telesis Community CU as a perfect example of why CUs should not have MBL powers.
The latest measure to raise the cap is a Senate bill reintroduced by Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.)
CUNA stressed Monday “we’re saying that Telesis is just one credit union and not indicative of the remainder of the movement.”
Meanwhile, the ABA conference last week that coincided with CUNA’s Governmental Affairs Conference included a breakout session titled “How to Hustle and Out Muscle Credit Unions.”
Also, the ABA produced a radio ad featuring ABA President Frank Keating which played on D.C. stations all week “in an attempt to distort the credit union message,” said a CUNA spokesman.
The ABA ran ads titled, “5 Questions Credit Unions Don’t Want You to Ask” and ICBA ran “If credit unions really wanted to serve small businesses, why aren’t they doing it now?” showing Ben Franklin with a clothes-pin on his nose. One CU marketer said he thought the Franklin message was a bit confused.
The flurry of ads came as CUNA and the ABA were meeting in the nation’s capitol just blocks apart.
The ABA brought in more than 1,000 bankers for a “fly-in” for its legislative conference while 4,000 credit union executives and their guests were convened all week at the Washington Convention Center for CUNA’s GAC.