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Mike Welch’s column in the January 28th issue, “Bank Mergers Produce Winners and Losers”, prompts me to share some thoughts. As a former banker, now three years into my credit union career, I must confess that much like the “two banking titans” named in the editorial, I too am “…unaware of all the reasons banking lobbyists devote so much of their time and resources towards trying to put credit unions out of business.” The former banker within feels that for the most part, my ex-brethren are preoccupied with asset quality, loan demand, ROA etc. just as we are. Simply stated, most bankers simply don’t have the luxury to worry about what local credit unions may be doing. In fact, I’d go so far to say that when bankers ponder credit unions, they likely do so with a degree of empathy because they realize we are both confronted by the same issues. It is my hypothesis, therefore, that lobbyists are individuals who need to create a sense of fear lest they suddenly find themselves with no dragons to slay. A knight with no dragons to slay can never save the fair young maiden. Since there are no real dragons, lobbyists contrive to create imaginary dragons – credit unions! Perhaps, if we could rid the world of excess lobbyists (in other words all lobbyists), we would suddenly find that career professionals from both banks and credit unions could join together and focus on some of the real issues confronting our two noble industries: excess and burdensome regulations, bankruptcy reform, the prevention of identity theft, shrinking margins etc,. etc., etc. Rick Stout Executive Vice President Charter Oak FCU Wallingford, Conn.

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