I was pleased to read in one of Publisher Mike Welch’s recent columns that he now believes that the credit union trade associations need to become more aggressive in our battle against the bankers and the banking associations. In case no one has noticed, the bankers have become ever more aggressive in their attacks on the credit unions. Why is this? First, for the bank trade associations it is a great way to get the troops fired up, raise funds, and keep membership high in the associations. Secondly and most importantly, they know that no matter how outrageous their “facts” or charges are, they do not have to pay a price for their actions. They can attack us on any issue and the credit unions will immediately and effectively begin a defensive action. The bankers lose almost every time, but every little credit union compromise or actual loss is a triumph for the bankers. This will continue unless and until credit unions legitimately attack the bankers when their actions or regulatory or legislative requests are anti-consumer or anti-competitive. The credit union trade associations need to no longer be passive witnesses to the bankers’ actions and requests. They must vigorously point out the inconsistency between what the bankers say and do. For example, bankers say credit unions should pay taxes while they are pursuing tax loopholes. As long as bankers have no risk or cost attached to their attacks, we can expect their attacks to continue and intensify. Patrick McPharlin President/CEO Michigan State University FCU East Lansing, Mich.

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