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FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — The “megabank credit union” line of the American Bankers Association got a fresh airing in North Carolina last week following the opening of a new Navy Federal CU branch serving the Fort Bragg Army Base here.The banker attack swipe from the North Carolina Bankers Association and focusing on large CUs “growing beyond their original purpose and common bond” came in a Fayetteville Observer article about the Dec. 15 grand opening of Navy’s seventh North Carolina branch.For its part, Navy said it was ignoring the banker blast and would continue with its 2009 branch expansion plans, which calls for 10 new facilities across the U.S. including those in Virginia and Colorado.Criticism of the Fayetteville branch surfaced from Paul Stock, executive vice president and general counsel of the NCBA, who accused CUs like Navy of reaching beyond their defined field of membership boundaries and acting like banks without paying taxes.The $17 billion State Employees’ Credit Union, the state’s largest, said it also was aware of the NCBA blast dismissing it as nonsensical and adding, “we are not too worried about it.”As for the NCBA attack on Navy, the North Carolina Credit Union League responded with its own letter to the editor of The Fayetteville Observer signed by John Radebaugh, president/CEO, denying the bigness theories, noting meanwhile that large banks are now getting bailout money “for risky loans they made.”Many of these same banks, charged Radebaugh, “have been curtailing lending to consumers” while accepting bailout funds.Radebaugh said the banker claims about large CUs growing beyond their original purpose “could not be further from the truth.”The Navy spokeswoman said the CU was gratified for the league coming to its defense “and being supportive.”–[email protected]

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