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INDIANAPOLIS – The $918 million Forum Credit Union got plenty of media mileage this month out of its $25 million expansion of its new headquarters building in suburban Fishers, but it also triggered an attack from the Indiana Bankers Association. The banker blast came in a letter to the editor in the Indianapolis Star, claiming the building was a “tax subsidy” unfairly foisted on Indiana citizens. The Aug. 20 letter written by James Cousins, president and CEO of the IBA, takes Forum to task for its tax-exempt status and wasting taxpayer money “while the federal government is running billions of debt every year.” In his letter, Cousins made reference to the gleaming new glass and steel building in Fishers which includes a 700-seat conference center as well as fitness center and other facilities for employees. The Indianapolis CU had dedicated its headquarters expansion Aug. 9 in a ceremony receiving press coverage and attended by local dignitaries including Indiana Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman. “This is simply more of the same that we’ve been getting all along and this case we feel that since we’ve been singled out, a rebuttal is required,” explained A C. Andrew Mattingly, senior vice president-strategy & marketing. Forum CU CEO Gary Irvin is sending in a rebuttal letter that the CU expects to be published.Irvin, the CEO, has called the Fishers headquarters addition “a testament to the employees of Forum Credit Union and the members we serve.” Underscoring its growth, Forum, he said, intends to hire 200 new employees over the next 10 years. The new building “demonstrates a commitment to serve member needs over the next 20 years,” he said. Forum, the city’s largest with 84,000 members, built its initial 45,000-square-foot corporate office in 1991. The new expansion takes the headquarters to a total of 155,000 square feet. One media story noted the building is visible to motorists along I-69 and the architects, Browning Day Mullins Dierdorf of Indianapolis, designed it “as a perfect setting to display eye-popping paintings and other work by Hoosier artists.” But Cousins of the Indiana Bankers Association told Credit Union Times the Forum expansion is simply another example of CUs like Forum “performing full service” just like banks but taking advantage of their non-profit structure. The newspaper coverage of the building triggered his decision to write the letter, “but this is an issue I’ve been concerned about for 30 years and one that I will continue to highlight.” Cousins denied he or the IBA is waging any specific anti-CU campaign now, “but I will point this out every chance I get.” [email protected]

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