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WASHINGTON- Just how bad have things gotten between credit unions and banks. For bankers a picture is worth a thousand words, or in this case dollars. Credit unions better clean up their billboards and double check the spelling in their advertising because the bankers are going to be paying extra attention over the next month. The American Bankers Association posted on their Web site last week a contest for photos demonstrating credit unions’ “deviation from their original mission.” The first prize for “the most outrageous, aggressive, or opulent” example will be awarded $1,000. Second place will win $500 and third will get $250. The awards are being offered up to any banker or state association executive for a copy or photo of a “credit union billboard, advertisement, or building that illustrates how far some credit unions have deviated from their original mission.” According to ABA Director of Public Relations Charlotte Birch, bankers already send them this type of evidence unsolicited, but this was a way to have fun with it and grab some attention. She said, “It hasn’t been determined exactly what it’s going to be used for, but generally speaking it’s the kind of illustration that can help us with our lobbying.” Birch said the monetary reward was really just to get people’s attention and that the bankers have a record of donating money to charity. The deadline for photos is July 2.

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