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As a former banker who’s now working as marketing vice president at Charter Oak FCU in Groton, Conn. I have to comment on testimony that a Connecticut banker, Mark Macomber, CEO, Litchfield Bancorp, offered before Congress on May 12 on behalf of America’s Community Bankers (ACB). I was personally irked by Macomber’s commentary. Particularly bothersome to me was the fact that at one point he testified in favor of reforming Subchapter S of the IRS Code (so as to benefit certain financial institutions and their elite stockholders.) Immediately after making this plea, Macomber did an about face and in the next breath argued for the taxation of credit unions. His testimony included all of the usual rhetoric about “mega” credit unions, unfair competition, etc. At no time however, did he mention how the proposed reforms he advocates would benefit his depositors. Naturally, he also omitted how taxation would adversely impact our members. I was compelled to write Macomber and express my annoyance over his slanted testimony. I offered, in keeping with our industry’s philosophy of “People Helping People”, to assist him in the pursuit of a charter conversion. It was suggested, that since he spoke so eloquently of credit union advantages, he’d surely want to jump on the charter conversion bandwagon. More and more it seems to me that the era of ignoring or downplaying the attacks of banking trade groups is coming to an end. Banks are making record profits. Nevertheless, they contend credit unions are a threat. Banks consolidate, immediately thereafter raise fees, and then can’t quite understand why their customers leave to become our members. Perhaps we need to throw down the gauntlet? Let our mantra be: If you think credit unions have unfair advantages, put your charter where your mouth is. Become a credit union. I doubt there would be too many takers. Bankers, after all, are king amongst capitalists. Can you imagine the looks on their directors’ faces when informed they will now serve as volunteers – without pay? How about the reaction of the elite few shareholders of a Subchapter S upon learning they will cease enjoying their lucrative arrangement? Finally, can you imagine what becomes of a CEO’s early retirement fantasies when he realizes that the anticipated stock conversion isn’t going to happen? I suggest Credit Union Times run an article that spells out the advantages of becoming a Subchapter S bank and the gains passed on to elite shareholders. How about some elaboration on the real reasons that, in spite of banks’ claims the credit unions have the edge, not too many banks actually do convert to credit union charters? I believe these topics would be eye openers for those in our industry as well as those who are in Congress. Rick Stout Marketing Vice President Charter Oak FCU Groton, Conn.

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