America’s Credit Unions ‘sets record straight’ on ICBA attack 

Tackling “ongoing tired attacks on credit unions,” America’s Credit Unions President/CEO Jim Nussle wrote to Congress Wednesday to address misleading messages from the Independent Community Bankers of America’s (ICBA) that rehash false banker claims. Nussle highlighted the importance of credit unions in mortgage lending and their “strong mortgage originations to a wide range of borrowers.” He added that credit unions outperform other mortgage lenders even with field of membership constraint, asserting that credit unions are best equipped to serve populations facing financial obstacles.

“Credit unions have intentionally worked to address challenges and inequities faced by many working Americans, including minority and underserved communities, to achieve the dream of home ownership,” wrote Nussle. He also detailed the credit union industry’s commitment to low- and moderate-income (LMI) areas.

Nussle called out bankers’ opposition to “credit union efforts to serve more underserved communities,” while banks continue to leave those areas and create “banking deserts.” He pushed back on ICBA’s objections to community banks selling to credit unions, stating that “the number of banks selling to credit unions is minuscule in comparison to bank-to-bank sales.” 

“The bottom line is no one forces a bank to sell to a credit union. It is a free-market business decision made by those privately-owned banks to sell their branches and businesses to credit unions,” added Nussle. 

He also countered ICBA’s remarks on the NCUA, noting that the NCUA is an effective industry regulator while highlighting the 2008 finical crisis and numerous consumer scandals that happened on the FDIC’s watch. 

“[W]hile we support strong oversight by all financial regulators, including the NCUA, we are disheartened that the banks continue to use misinformation against the efforts of not-for-profit member-owned credit unions to help consumers and communities,” wrote Nussle. 

America’s Credit Unions will continue to engage lawmakers and push back against baseless attacks on credit unions. 

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