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NAPLES, Fla. – Guess what was the predominant issue discussed at the recently held annual meeting of American Association of Credit Union Leagues? Combating threats against credit unions by state bank attacks. The issue was a popular topic of discussion, and attendees shared their experiences and strategies for dealing with the bankers’ attacks. Rick Pillow, president/CEO of the Virginia and District of Columbia Credit Union League said the league’s strategy includes emphasizing to credit unions the importance of educating legislators on the credit union difference; establishing a defense fund; and reaching consumers and policymakers through a coordinated media campaign. On Jan. 14th, in a first for Virginia credit unions, the state Supreme Court heard the case of Virginia Bankers Association v. State Corporation Commission et al concerning the bankers’ appeal of a state Bureau of Financial Institutions field-of-membership expansion decision for DuPont Community Credit Union. The issue at the heart of that case – as in the case involving the three Pennsylvania credit unions – is the definition of “well-defined, local, community, neighborhood, or rural district.” Pat Jury, vp of the Iowa Credit Union League which had to contend with its own bank battle, told credit unions to, “Prepare, prepare, prepare. Don’t wait for a crisis.”

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