WASHINGTON-Reaction was mixed but mostly negative toward State Employees Credit Union President and CEO Jim Blaine’s remarks comparing banks to brothels at CUNA’s 2004 Governmental Affairs Conference. During a debate with then-American Bankers Association Chairman Ken Fergeson, the banker brought up issues like the fact that $1 billion-plus Tinker Federal Credit Union up the street from his bank ($270 million NBanC) had a 30% advantage because of their tax exemption. Blaine’s response was that credit unions grew large (SECU is the second largest in the country) because of their superior service. He also said that banks are like brothels, “You know it’s going to cost an awful lot of money and you know you’re going to get screwed.” The comment brought a mix of chuckles and gasps from the audience, and spawned one of the largest `letter to the editor’ responses Credit Union Times has ever had. Blaine also said that the taxation argument was getting stale while Fergeson argued that larger credit unions should be taxed under Subchapter T (similar to Subchapter S for small banks) like other cooperatives. Blaine was asked to defend credit unions’ marked drop in the American Banker’s annual survey of customer satisfaction and answered that credit unions have taken so many customers from banks, they have not had time to rehabilitate them all. Fergeson countered that Blaine’s characterization of bankers and money grubbing is unfair and that they look to serve their customers better everyday. The community banker said they are not afraid of a little competition, but they want a level playing field. -

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.