You can regulate the money out of the business, but you can’t regulate the personal responsibility out of the consumer. No matter what Washington does to keep credit unions and other lenders from taking advantage of the less well-educated, the desperate and the elderly, ultimately consumers have to take responsibility for their actions.

It’s a fine line to toe when you’re charged with serving members of modest means, pricing services like overdraft and payday loans to risk. But credit unions will likely lose members or potential members to truly abusive competitors if they do not offer those services. Then, credit unions will lose the opportunity to educate members and save them from themselves. Instead the regulators believe it’s their job to tell consumers what’s best for them.

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