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RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. – Perhaps credit unions should be flattered that bankers consider them a bigger threat than money-laundering that supports international terrorism, but the California Credit Union League says bankers’ priorities are `misplaced.’ The California Credit Union League obtained a copy of the American Bankers Association’s “Government Relations Priorities for 2003,” which organized the ABA’s priorities in to three categories – `Super Priorities’ (seven items); `Priorities’ (12 items); and `Other Issues for ABA to Emphasize’ (five items). Among the seven super priorities on the listing, real estate brokering, FDIC issues and credit unions – “opposing credit union efforts to expand unfairly and supporting taxation of expansionist credit unions” ranked first through third in importance, respectively. In fourth place was “fighting terrorism – working with law enforcement authorities, the Administration, and Congress to effectively fight terrorism through anti-money laundering efforts and other methods; ensuring new regulations are effective and do not impose unnecessary costs or liabilities.” CCUL President/CEO David Chatfield called the ABA’s “super priorities” for the year “super misplaced.” Chatfield said the fact that the ABA ranks these efforts more important than adopting banking policies that will combat terrorism and privacy initiatives, “points to a fundamental difference between banks and credit unions: while credit unions pursue legislative and regulatory objectives that will be beneficial to their members.banks pursue those goals that will make more money for executives and stockholders.” The three leading items, in rank order, listed under `Priorities’ were: enacting meaningful bankruptcy reform; agriculture and rural development; and enacting legislation permitting daily transfers to and from corporate demand deposits. Items listed under `Other Issues’ included” supporting legal and tort reform; opposing any expansion of government sponsored enterprises (GSEs) that would unfairly compete with banks; supporting legislation granting the Federal Reserve the authority to pay interest on reserves; supporting the full funding of SBA programs and opposing increased fees; non-resident alien reporting – continue to work with Treasury to ensure workable regulations.” Chatfield said he didn’t think legislators or policymakers should be surprised that bankers consider credit unions a bigger threat than money-laundering efforts. “In declaring that getting bankers into the real estate business and hurting credit unions is more important than fighting terrorism, or seeking other legislative and regulatory changes that will benefit consumers and the economy, the ABA is once again revealing that its `super priorities’ are `super misplaced.” [email protected]

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