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WASHINGTON-Credit unions are up against the fiercest attacks from bankers many veterans have ever seen. In particular, the larger credit unions are coming under fire regarding their tax-exemption. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Bill Thomas (R-Calif.) held a hearing Nov. 3 on the societal good credit unions are serving to earn their tax-exemption. Data reporting of service to the underserved was a main focus. The American Bankers Association has two new legal challenges pending in Pennsylvania and Utah courts against NCUA for charter expansions. The ABA contends that `local’ field of membership restrictions are one of the reasons credit unions enjoy their tax-exempt status. Congressman Jim Moran (D-Va.) recently told a group of credit unions that their tax-exempt status has never been as vulnerable as it is right now. Another issue of controversy that has spilled beyond the bounds of the credit union community is credit union conversions to mutual savings banks. So Credit Union Times posed the question to top officials of some of the nation’s largest credit unions, “If credit unions were taxed, would you consider converting to a bank?” Here is what they had to say. [email protected]

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