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I’d like to comment on all these large bonus dividends credit unions are doling out. Here at Power FCU we have given back over $1 million each year for the past three consecutive years and over $5 million in the last seven years. The $1 million giveback represented 4.75% of the total 2005 interest received on loans (interest rebate) and the same 4.75% of the total 2005 interest paid on deposits (bonus dividend). In my opinion, a major responsibility of all board members is to oversee the credit union’s financial health and net worth position. When a credit union’s net worth ratio exceeds 10% (as described by Greg Smith in the front page story of your Jan. 4 issue), I believe that the declaration of a bonus dividend and interest rebate should be the No. 1 priority of all board members and should be made an agenda item and discussed at a board meeting at least annually. The board process of declaring an interest rebate and bonus dividend is categorically and undeniably what makes us different than a bank because we pay our excess net income back to our membership whereas a bank would pay its excess profit back to its stockholders. I cannot see anything else in what we do as a credit union that makes us so totally different than a bank. John D Wakefield President/CEO Power Federal Credit Union Syracuse, N.Y.

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