WASHINGTON (7/5/13)--Credit Union National Association President/CEO Bill Cheney Wednesday made it perfectly clear in an interview on Bloomberg Radio's Taking Stock With Pimm Fox that credit unions are here to support Americans of all stripes, from the earliest stages of their work lives until later, and, hopefully, into more financially secure parts of their lives.
Cheney said credit unions are true cooperatives: Every member gets an equal vote and equal influence no matter how much they have deposited at the credit union. The bottom line is that the U.S. Congress created credit unions specifically so that they could compete with banks, because banks were marginalizing people of modest means, Cheney said.
"I was a college student when I joined at credit union and I have stayed with credit unions because they were looking out for my interests," Cheney told hosts Pimm Fox and Carol Maser.
Consumers still deserve a choice: "they should have a choice of a for profit bank if that's what they want to do, but they should also have the choice of a not-for-profit credit union," Cheney said, again noting that for-profit banks have a responsibility to earn money for their stockholders, while credit unions answer to their members.
Also in the interview, Cheney answered questions about the credit union tax status, and addressed what CUNA, the leagues, credit unions and their members are doing now to make sure the credit union tax status is maintained.
Taxing credit unions remove the $8 billion per year in benefits that are provided to credit union members and non-members alike through lower fees and competitive pressures on banks.
"Again, a tax on credit unions is going to be paid by the credit union members," and 96 million of them that don't want to pay another new tax, he emphasized.
To protect the credit union tax status, a large-scale, nationwide grassroots-mobilization campaign led by CUNA and the leagues continues to encourage 96 million credit union members nationwide to present a unified message to members of congress: Don't Tax My Credit Union!
Credit union advocates have delivered the message to members of Congress nearly 250,000 times since mid-May, with the help of CUNA/league communication tools. The innovative campaign also uses newer media vehicles such as Facebook, a Twitter handle @CUNAadvocacy, and hashtag, #DontTaxMyCU, and social media micro-video site Vine. Around 300,000 individuals have used Facebook and Twitter to spread the message through social media.
CUNA has also developed a reformatted version of its tax advocacy toolkit to help credit unions and their members spread this message.
Actively participating in credit union grassroots activities and the political process is one tenet of CUNA's Unite for Good. Through Unite for Good, CUNA has called on credit unions to rally together to help create a nation in which "Americans choose credit unions as their best financial partner."
For the full Bloomberg Radio interview, more CUNA/league advocacy resources, and information on Unite for Good, use the resource links.