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WASHINGTON-On Aug. 15, CUNA President and CEO Dan Mica gave a half-hour interview on a popular Washington, D.C. news radio channel. To Mica, the credit union difference is clear and he shared it last Sunday with “Of Consuming Interest” radio show host Shirley Rooker. “In the bank equation, there are three people involved,” Mica explained. “Those three people are the banker, the customer – and the stockholder. Everything that the bank does has to take into consideration those three persons.” On the other hand with credit unions, he continued, “There, you have the credit union representative, and the member. In the credit union model, everything that is done focuses on delivering service to the credit union member, and no one else. That’s a fundamental difference that the bankers just can’t ignore.” As the bank v. credit union battle continues to heat up, mainly over taxation, Mica defended credit unions’ tax exemption. “For more than 40 years, banks have opposed credit unions’ consumer initiatives and have advanced efforts to close down credit unions. The issue is really more about whether consumers should pay more for services. If banks have their way, credit unions would be taxed – resulting in a tax on consumers themselves.” Taxing credit unions, he added, would alter credit unions’ philosophy as non-profit, democratically controlled financial cooperatives. During the interview, Mica also drew the typical size comparisons of the credit union and banking industries, noted that Gallup Poll surveys have found credit unions provide better services than banks for 19 years running, and touted the efforts of Washington, D.C. credit unions to reach out to the Hispanic community. The program is slated to rerun in streaming audio at the WTOP-AM 1500 Web site at www.wtop.com; just click on “Call of Action,” then “Of Consuming Interest.” -

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