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RENO, Nev. – It appears CUNA will fight the on-going banker attacks with a message that trumpets the positive nature of non-profits and co-ops as a legitimate business vehicle, while at the same time refuting the banking industry’s attempt “to set our agenda.” That was the message of CUNA’s newly elected chairman, Richard Ensweiler, in his first speech to the Future Forum. Ensweiler, who also is president/CEO of the Texas Credit Union League, told the closing session of the CUNA meeting he remains astounded that banks try to wield power to dictate products, services and structure of CUs. “They link service and field of membership growth to taxation,” observed Ensweiler. “Where in the world did that come from?” In his remarks, the TCUL CEO noted Congress authorized businesses to choose one of two tax structures – non-profit or for profit – with the law clearing stating that “if you’re structured as a non-profit, you pay no taxes.” Alluding to competing hospital chains -one profit and the other non-profit – “would you see the profit-generating chain sue the other across the street because they compete?” It would not happen, but banks try to foster illogical arguments to convince lawmakers and the public of their righteousness, he said. In a tip-off of CUNA’s new strategy, Ensweiler said CUs would try to show such arguments are completely fallacious. -

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