Big banks, not CUs, responsible for small bank woes, La Pine reminds in Miami Herald

June 11, 2015

MIAMI (6/11/15)--Banks maintain a 92% market share in Florida, yet they opine that credit unions somehow hold an unfair advantage in the state.

Perhaps they won’t be satisfied until all small financial institutions have been squashed, said Patrick La Pine, president/CEO, League of Southeastern Credit Unions, in a recent opinion discrediting claims by the Florida Bankers Association in the Miami Herald.

“Since 1992, the 100 largest banks have raised their market share from 41% to 75%, while the smaller banking institutions have gone from 53% to nearly 19%,” La Pine said.

Though, because credit unions have largely withstood this shift by slightly increasing their share of the market to just under 7%, it’s clear that small banks have suffered at the hands of their bigger brethren.

Further, the 25 largest banks operating in Florida control 75.3% of all deposits in the state, with 75.7% of all bank deposits belonging to out-of-state institutions.

“So who exactly is making it tough on America’s hometown banks?” La Pine said (Miami Herald June 9).

La Pine also highlighted the fact that credit unions are willing to work with communities that banks largely neglect, which is one of the reasons why credit unions aren’t subject to the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA).

“Why are banks subject to the CRA while credit unions are not?” La Pine said. “It is because banks earned their way under CRA through discriminatory practices and redlining poorer communities, while credit unions have continued to invest in their members without having to be told to do so by Congress.”