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WASHINGTON-As has been highlighted in industry news, banking groups are really making a strong push to tax credit unions, particularly with the federal deficit as bad as it is and a non-election year coming up. In its latest move, America’s Community Bankers has e-mailed its membership and state association executives, encouraging them to request that their members of Congress to not support the Credit Union Regulatory Improvements Act (H.R. 3579), ACB announced in its Perspective newsletter. The trade association is facilitating the campaign by providing its members with language for a letter at www.AmericasCommunityBankers.com under the Action Alert section. “As a community banker in your District, I strongly urge you not to co-sponsor or support H.R. 3579, the Credit Union Regulatory Improvements Act of 2003. This bill drastically and unfairly expands the authorities of the credit union industry. It also expands that industry’s tax subsidy,” the letter reads. “Community banks are important to our communities and local economies, both through provision of needed financial services and as an integral part of the tax base,” it continues. “We make loans to first time homebuyers, meet consumer credit needs, help families pay college tuition, sponsor financial literacy programs, help budding entrepreneurs establish their own businesses, promote community development, and pay taxes. It is truly inequitable that community banks are forced to compete head-to-head with a new breed of banks operating as tax-exempt credit unions. Our economy is built on free and fair competition. However, the free market is being disrupted by tax subsidies provided to large, complex credit unions.” The parts of CURIA that particularly upset the bankers are the ones that expand member business lending and create a risk-based capital system.

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