You can regulate the money out of the business, but you can'tregulate the personal responsibility out of the consumer. No matterwhat Washington does to keep credit unions and other lenders fromtaking advantage of the less well-educated, the desperate and theelderly, ultimately consumers have to take responsibility for theiractions.

It's a fine line to toe when you're charged with serving membersof modest means, pricing services like overdraft and payday loansto risk. But credit unions will likely lose members or potentialmembers to truly abusive competitors if they do not offer thoseservices. Then, credit unions will lose the opportunity to educatemembers and save them from themselves. Instead the regulatorsbelieve it's their job to tell consumers what's best for them.

The National Consumer Law Center has been particularly activelately in holding regulator and credit unions' feet to the fire.The NCLC is pushing solutions that make it less cost effective tooffer alternatives to the credit-challenged, and in the end,they're hurting those they are purporting to protect. Even atnot-for-profit credit unions, products must pay for themselves orbe supported by others. In recent weeks the NCLC attackedindividual credit union payday loan alternatives and overdraftservices.

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