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WASHINGTON – CUNA said this week it is “well aware” of the latest anti-credit union strategy contained in a new American Bankers Association membership report which cited creation of a newly-constituted “State Association Credit Union Coordinating Committee.” The mission of the 12-member ABA panel, said the report, will be to “lead the fight against aggressive growth-oriented credit unions with the goal of introducing legislation to tax bank-like credit unions.” An ABA spokesman said the Coordinating Committee has been “around a while but not formally organized” having been set up just prior to the ABA filing its suit in Salt Lake City in July to block NCUA’s field of membership policies targeted to multi-county CU expansion in Utah. The ABA official stressed there obviously has been some misinterpretation by the CU trade group regarding a headline in the ABA “midyear review” which seems to warn of threatened, unspecified actions suggest CUs. The headline reads, “And you should see what we’ve got in store for the next six months.” But the reference, said the spokesman, is to a laundry list of ABA accomplishments for its membership ranging from facilitating compliance with the USA Patriot Act to helping banks retain pooled trust funds. But the section which alarmed CUNA and state Leagues was a section entitled “Things We did to Help Banks Take on the Competition” in which the report states that during the year it filed an amicus brief before the Missouri Supreme Court in the two year-old Telcomm FOM case involving a challenge of the state commissioner’s approval of FOM applications. Taking a tongue-in-cheek shot in that case, the report said the ABA filed its brief before the Missouri high court because the state regulator, John P. Smith backed by the State CU Commission had approved a common bond “of an area code.” In listing its accomplishments, the ABA report said also it has filed comment letters opposing NCUA’s proposed modification of common bond and FOM regulation “which would make it easier for credit unions to lend to businesses.” The ABA’s mid-year “review” report was issued in connection with its July dues bills sent to member banks, said the spokesman. The report briefly highlights its record of anti-CU tax campaign in state legislatures and said it also has filed comment letters opposing NCUA’s proposed modification of common an FOM regulation “which would make it easier for credit unions to lend to businesses. Chairman of the ABA CU Coordinating Committee is Jeff Plagge, president and CEO of the First National Bank of Waverly, Iowa, said the ABA spokesman. The vice-chairman is Earl McVicker, president and chairman of Central Bank and Trust Co. of Hutchinson, Kan. and chairman of ABA’s Community Banker Council. A CUNA spokesman said the report’s highlights have been circulated to state leagues and management of the leagues and CUNA noting the trade groups are well prepared and organized to confront any ABA challenge. Asked what sort of ABA moves might be expected in the coming months, the CUNA spokesman said the ABA apparently hopes to win sympathy for its tax-exemption message before influential legislative and financial groups. [email protected]

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