You can kind of understand the logic behind the hired guns in Washington, who are charged with advancing their industry’s interests even when it may be at the expense of the consumer, the environment or their competitors. People can rationalize a lot of behavior when it comes to earning a living and supporting their families. But how do you explain an individual like Keith Leggett, the former senior economist for the American Bankers Association and self-described “leading expert on credit unions and the NCUA”? Keith has to know by now that credit unions actually improve the lives of millions of Americans by providing them access to affordable financial services in places and markets where his beloved bankers wish not to tread. Surly he knows that banks have stumbled as they seek to profit at all costs and sometimes trample the best interests of the consumers they were charged with serving. A simple Google search of bank fines and penalties, totaling $150 billion to date, should tell the story.

To be fair, Leggett serves to remind all credit union CEOs and boards not to stray from their mission of serving all of our members, and to truly and consistently improve members’ lives.

But here’s a guy who spends his retirement time attacking the ability of consumers to choose a credit union that can make a difference in their lives. Obviously, Mr. Leggett is no expert on credit unions, consumer well-being or even how to retire in a kinder, gentler manner. As former CEO of FDIC Employees Federal Credit Union I can attest that many banking, bank trade association and regulatory agency professionals do not share his ill-informed and spiteful attitude toward the member-owned financial cooperatives that make a difference in the lives of over 100 million U.S. consumers. Taking a poisonous and vindictive mindset against one third of the population into retirement can’t be good for you. My guess is Keith doesn’t really need that either. I’d suggest fly fishing or yoga.

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