La Pine op-ed: CUs directly benefit members, communities

May 26, 2015

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (5/26/15)--Patrick La Pine, president/CEO of the League of Southeastern Credit Unions, recently dismantled yet another baseless argument from bankers to strip credit unions of their not-for-profit tax status in an opinion piece in the Sun Sentinel.

In the piece, La Pine said that bankers had once again distorted the credit union tax exemption, and found it curious that they believe credit unions have some sort of an advantage when banks hold 92% of the market.

Apparently “they want the whole market,” he said.

In response to the idea that credit unions are unfairly eating away at hometown bank profits, La Pine reminded readers that, since 1992, the credit union market share in the state only has climbed 1.4%, while the 100 largest banks have inflated their market share to 75% from 41%.

“So who exactly is making it tough on America’s hometown banks?” La Pine said.

As further evidence that it’s actually big banks that are the enemy to small banks, La Pine pointed out that out-of-state banks operating in Florida control 75.7% of all deposits, a share that has climbed more than 30% over the last two decades.

“Having a not-for-profit structure means that credit unions do not have stockholders--they pass earnings through to their members--saving average Florida consumers $365 million in 2014 and $3.6 billion over the past eight years,” La Pine said. “For-profit banks, in contrast, pass earnings out to stockholders--mostly consisting of big out-of-state corporations and wealthy individuals.”