WASHINGTON-The American Bankers Association is trying a new tactic in winning people to their side in the credit union versus banker battle: making them laugh. In a recent column on www.aba.com, American Bankers Association Senior Economist Keith Leggett borrowed from Jeff Foxworthy’s famous “you might be a red neck if.” stand-up comedy routine to create “you might be a morphed credit union if.” He uses real life examples of credit union activities and advertising to define exactly what a “morphed credit union” is, which are the ones the bankers say they would like to see pay corporate income tax. Demonstrating the trade association’s view on credit unions in business lending, Leggett wrote, “If you are among the nation’s top 30 Small Business Administration lenders in fiscal year 2004 by number of loans granted, you might be a morphed credit union,” referring to Mountain America Federal Credit Union. Regarding credit unions straying from what banks state is their original mission to serve the underserved, he cited, “If you advertise that you are the place for “big toy loans,” you might be a morphed credit union.” Leggett took this from MonOc Federal Credit Union in New Jersey. “If you advertise-’Q. Can I join? A. Are you breathing?’-as criteria for joining, you might be a morphed credit union,” he wrote, referring to a Riverside County’s Credit Union advertising campaign. “The examples cited above are real,” Leggett concluded. “They clearly highlight cases where credit unions are stretching the parameters of what people would seriously think of as a credit union.” He also requested examples beyond the 12 enumerated in his column. [email protected]

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