CUNA Chief Advocacy Officer Ryan Donovan onstage at this year's CUNA GAC.

Donovan: CU difference is best defense against bank attacks

April 15, 2019

Credit unions must be proactive to not only react to banker rhetoric but to bust myths about credit unions and their tax status, CUNA Chief Advocacy Officer Ryan Donovan wrote in Credit Union Journal Monday. Donovan’s op-ed says that credit unions should not let banks undermine the future of credit unions.

“CUNA and leagues are uniquely positioned to take on bank attacks, but we need the support of the whole movement to make our efforts successful,” Donovan wrote. “We can’t let banks define who we are and what we stand for. We must be proactive in sharing our difference and protecting our model. Why? Because if they win, consumers lose.”

Donovan highlighted the different kinds of bank attacks, always with the same goal: weaken the impact credit unions have on their members and communities by financially burdening them with additional taxes.

“We need to tell our message to state lawmakers and consumers where bank attacks exist and where they haven’t surfaced yet. We need to dismantle the banker’s favorite talking point of “a family of four pays more taxes than the credit union down the street.”

Despite banker claims, Donovan says, credit unions generated approximately $12.2 billion in federal taxes and $7.4 billion in state taxes through employer, excise and property taxes, while credit union members paid $1.5 trillion in federal and state taxes on both the proceeds distributed and interest earned on their accounts.

Donovan’s full op-ed can be read here. For credit unions and leagues experiencing bank attacks in their communities, CUNA has created toolkits with messaging to set the record straight.