Donovan to Congressional offices: CU difference is clear
Credit unions continue to make the best financial partner for 115 million Americans despite the latest bank attacks, CUNA Chief Advocacy Officer Ryan Donovan wrote to Congressional offices Thursday, part of CUNA’s continuing efforts to highlight the credit union difference to policymakers in the face of inaccurate bank claims.
“Credit unions work hard in the community day in and day out. They’re tax-exempt based on their structure as not-for-profit financial cooperatives and the mission that Congress gave them: to promote thrift and provide access to credit for provident purposes,” Donovan wrote. “They earn this status every day through the service and investment they make to their members and communities. The banks say there’s no longer any difference between credit unions and banks, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. And we're proud of the credit union difference.”
Despite inaccurate bank attacks, Donovan highlights the facts:
- Credit unions paid $5.1 billion in taxes in 2018. Meanwhile, according to the FDIC, the bankers received a $30 billion tax break last year, funneling most of this to investors, not customers.
- Credit unions have opened more than 1,600 branches since 2004. Since the financial crisis, banks have closed 11,500 branches, creating 86 new banking deserts. Many of the community banks rushing to cash out their portfolios turn to credit unions to ensure their communities are served by a local financial services partner.
- Since 2014, bank assets have grown by $3.5 trillion. The entire credit union system holds only $1.8 trillion in assets. Banks like JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo each hold more in assets than every credit union combined.
- Banks have racked up $300 billion in fines for anti-consumer behavior since 2009, according to Barclays & Capital Performance Group.
- Not-for-profit credit unions provide $16 billion in financial benefit annually through reduced fees, lower loan rates, higher returns, and competitive pressure on banks.