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In a recent column, publisher Mike Welch raised the very valid point that not all bankers are bad. In fact, sometimes bankers wear the white hat. We need to put into perspective that banking trades have spun the “credit union issue” in order to maintain membership when they see the ranks diminishing each year. Over the years, I have had the privilege of working with community bankers and big bank representatives on the TYME board and, most recently, the PULSE board. I have witnessed professionalism, respect for each other, and true concern for all our members/customers in the organizations they are representing. In our community and throughout this great county, the community bankers were the people who were first in line to donate to the local hospital or give up their time and money for the United Way and numerous other non-profits for the good of the community. Unfortunately, with the purchase of community banks by big national banks, we see a void in dollars and time spent for non-profits, and that is where credit unions can play an active role. For the last seven years, our credit union has participated successfully with a community bank in our home town, allowing both institutions to make loans to small businesses that we individually might not be able to make. We have a hand shake agreement not to steal each others customers or members who are involved in the participation loan(s) and, to this day, this relationship has helped both organizations and the community as a whole. When I was on CUNA’s Governmental Affairs Committee, I asked that we as a trade group zero in on issues that both credit unions and banks can work on together for the well-being of our present and future consumers. I understand that we have worked together on bankruptcy reform and other legislative and regulatory matters. We are always going to have differences just like the Democrats and Republicans and the Packers and the Vikings; but by respecting each other and working together, we can achieve great things and the consumer will benefit in the end. Charles M. Grossklaus CEO Royal Credit Union Eau Claire, Wis.

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