Looking back 15 years ago finds the American Bankers Association releasing a study entitled, The Credit Union Industry: Trends, Structure and Competitveness, which portrays CUs as “fast growing, expansive financial institutions that have strayed from their origins and serve a membership of predominantly educated, high-income consumers.” The study not only supports the bankers’ call for taxation of CUs but also raises issue with the sponsor subsidies many CUs enjoy. In response, that issue also finds some 24 California credit unions putting at least $100,000 toward an independent study of the nation’s banking system. “I was concerned over the ABA attacks and the use the ABA was making of a study of the credit union system done by a banking organization, the Secura Group headed by former FDIC head Bill Isaacs,” said Patelco CU President Ed Callahan. “Our desire was that some group sponsor a comparable study of the banking system. Now that their study is done the banks are saying there’s no good to be had in comparing the two systems after they worked us over.”

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