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RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. – Banks showed a fifth consecutive quarter of record profits, and the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues want members of Congress to know that contrary to bankers allegations, the success of credit unions in the U.S. hasn’t hurt the banking industry. To convey their message, the Leagues unveiled a second ad in the Capitol Hill publication Roll Call on June 22 that like the first almost identical ad that ran in Roll Call in March, congratulates bankers on their record profits. The ad that ran in March read, “Four straight quarters! Three straight years! Record profits!” (CU Times, March 17.) The newest ad replaces the word `four’ with the word `five’ “Considering the non-stop complaints by the nation’s bankers that they cannot compete against America’s credit unions, it’s nothing short of remarkable that the nation’s 9,100 banks earned a record $31.9 billion in the first quarter of 2004, the fifth consecutive quarter in which bank profits hit a new high,” said League President/CEO David Chatfield. Like the first ad, the second ad points out that annual national bank profits equal nearly one-fifth of all the assets of all the credit unions in the U.S. The ad again asks the question: “Isn’t it time for banks to invest as much of their profits into serving their customers as they spend on harassing America’s credit unions and their 84 million members?” The text is superimposed over a pile of $20 and $100 bills. Placement of the ad was timed to coincide with a visit by a delegation of California and Nevada credit union representatives to Capitol Hill. While there, credit union officials lobbied for passage of three bills that would give federally chartered CUs greater ability to serve low-income Americans – H.R. 3579, the Credit Union Regulatory Improvements Act and H.R. 1365, the Financial Services Regulatory Relief Act. Both measures would allow federal credit unions to cash checks and provide money transfers to non-members in their field-of-membership; and H.R. 4348, the Financial Services for All Act, which would permit federal credit unions to provide these services to all consumers. A bill at the state level – S.B. 1292 – which would have allowed state-chartered credit unions to cash checks and wire money for non-members in their field-of-membership and sell them money orders, was blocked by the California Bankers Association in the state Assembly Banking and Finance Committee on June 22 (see story below). By running the ads, Chatfield said the California and Nevada leagues “are pointing out the misplaced priorities of the nation’s bankers. Rather than spending money to help low-income Americans, they are adopting policies to exclude them as bank customers and are spending millions of dollars to try to prevent these and other Americans from having access to non-profit financial institutions.” While they’re in Washington, the CU delegates further worked at driving home the point of the difference between banks and credit unions by wearing buttons that read: “California and Nevada credit unions: Where people are worth more than money.” “In contrast to the bankers’ consistently negative and self-serving message, we want to emphasize to our congressional representatives the positive message that America’s credit unions are focused on people rather than profit, and exist solely to improve the lives of millions of everyday Americans from all walks of life,” said Chatfield. According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., first quarter 2004 results exceeded the total for the fourth quarter of 2003 by $858 million (2.8%) and were $2.3 billion (8.0)%) greater than the results of the first quarter 2003. Banks’ return on assets averaged 1.38% in the first quarter of 2004, near an all-time record. The FDIC also reported that 55% of banks reported higher quarterly earnings compared to the first quarter 2003, and 50.3% reported higher return-on-assets. -

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