Blaming credit unions for the state for the current decline of community banks could not be further from the truth, and have no basis in fact, wrote Patrick La Pine, CEO of the League of Southeastern Credit Unions and Affiliates in Credit Union Journal. La Pine responded to an article that appeared on Fox Business claiming the credit union tax status threatens the existence of community banks.
“His attacks on credit unions, which hold 8.7 percent of the market share in Florida, can’t be justified if he would only look at the large national and regional banks that continue to devour community banks and make it more difficult for all community financial institutions to do business,” he wrote. “This rabble rouser should realize there are more than 2,200 for-profit banks in the U.S. that pay no corporate income tax because they organize as tax-exempt Subchapter S banks. And let’s not forget the more than $28 billion in tax breaks the banks received from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.”
La Pine contrasts those numbers with the more than $530 million in direct benefits to Florida consumers in 2018, in addition to credit unions outperforming banks in numerous consumer satisfaction surveys.
In response to claims that credit unions should be subject to the Community Reinvestment Act, La Pine notes that the reason banks are subject to it are because of their “notorious history of aggressively redlining and ignoring low-income communities” while credit unions are known for serving their communities.
“Credit unions are for people and not-for-profit, and so naturally more and more Floridians are choosing credit unions as their financial institution of choice,” La Pine wrote.