Community bankers renew request for congressional probe into credit union-bank deals

Bankers accuse credit unions of leveraging tax exemption to buy banks

Citing recent bank purchases by credit unions, the Independent Community Bankers of America trade group is renewing its call for congressional oversight of the purchases.

“As credit union banking acquisitions continue, policymakers are responsible for investigating whether federal policy should continue to support this alarming trend,” Rebeca Romero Rainey, the ICBA’s president and CEO said last week.

Few policymakers have expressed a willingness to wade into the longstanding battle between banks and credit unions. However, during a November hearing featuring bank regulators, Rep. French Hill, R-Ark. asked National Credit Union Administration Chairman Todd Harper about such purchases. Harper promised to provide Hill with more details on the issue.

Romero Rainey did not get specific about which bank purchases concerned her. In recent days, Global Federal Credit Union, an Alaska financial institution, announced it will purchase First Financial Northwest Bank of Renton, Washington. In addition, Hudson Valley Credit Union in New York announced it intends to merge with Catskill Hudson Bank.


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