WASHINGTON – CUNA Senior Vice President of Governmental Affairs John McKechnie wrote an op-ed published in the July 30 American Banker slamming the banking industry for bribing banks and employees to attack credit unions. “The campaign is not in favor of anything,” he pointed out. “It is not for increased powers for banks, decreased taxes for smaller banks, or an equal playing field. It is purely a negative campaign against credit unions’ attempts to preserve a place in the financial services world by offering a fuller array of services. “And as we watch the bankers’ tactics degrade into bounty hunting and buying testimonials, our reaction borders on alarm.” The piece, “Credit Unions Don’t Buy Support,” railed against the American Bankers Association for their $1,000-prize photo competition to demonstrate credit unions overstepping their boundaries or their decadent facilities. “Does a photo show the hard work, volunteer efforts, and community spirit that can be wrapped up in any exterior?” McKechnie wrote. “Isn’t it misleading to imply a credit union’s location means the credit union isn’t dedicated to its mission statement? Frankly, we are appalled by the bankers’ throwing money around this way.” He also lambasted one bank that is offering prizes to get employees to write Congress in opposition to the Credit Union Regulatory Improvements Act (H.R. 3579). “Does paying people to parrot a position really add to an honest and open discussion? Or does it stack the numbers?” he asked. McKechnie said the very need to offer prizes to garner support “speaks volumes about the differences between commercial banks and credit unions. If commercial banks stopped looking for ways to rain down new fees on customers and backed away from the megamerger mania that knocks out any local bank’s presence in communities, perhaps they would experience the kind of loyalty credit unions receive – a loyalty money can’t buy.” He pointed out that CUNA regularly seeks members’ support, and gets it, without prize money. “When we present a petition, lawmakers can be assured that those who signed it did so because they believe in their credit union, not because they won a trip to Hawaii,” McKechnie stated. “Credit union employees and members will do voluntarily what the bankers seem to have to pay to get done.” As far as banks’ complaints against the credit unions tax exemption, he wrote, “Fair treatment does not always mean identical treatment.” In conclusion, McKechnie wrote, “Congress can expect a vigorous debate on the issues surrounding credit unions and their 85 million members. Constituents on all sides will surely weigh in. I can promise this: When credit union members contact a legislator, they will give a genuine representation of their feelings. And they won’t be paid to do it.” [email protected]

Complete your profile to continue reading and get FREE access to CUTimes.com, part of your ALM digital membership.

Your access to unlimited CUTimes.com content isn’t changing.
Once you are an ALM digital member, you’ll receive:

  • Critical CUTimes.com information including comprehensive product and service provider listings via the Marketplace Directory, CU Careers, resources from industry leaders, webcasts, and breaking news, analysis and more with our informative Newsletters.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM and CU Times events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including Law.com and GlobeSt.com.

Already have an account?


© 2023 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from www.copyright.com. All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.


Credit Union Times

Join Credit Union Times

Don’t miss crucial strategic and tactical information necessary to run your institution and better serve your members. Join Credit Union Times now!

  • Free unlimited access to Credit Union Times' trusted and independent team of experts for extensive industry news, conference coverage, people features, statistical analysis, and regulation and technology updates.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM and Credit Union Times events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including TreasuryandRisk.com and Law.com.

Already have an account? Sign In Now
Join Credit Union Times

Copyright © 2023 ALM Global, LLC. All Rights Reserved.