by. Gina Ragusa
A feud more sustainable than “taste great, less filling” or West Coast versus East Coast rap, the credit union/bank debate has reigned for decades.
The credit union movement was born a need to serve people of modest means. The earliest credit unions were established in England during the 19th century, which grew and evolved to the mission and model thousands of members have turned to today.
During fruitful but especially during times of economic strife, credit unions have been highly sought through the years. And as demand increased, the breadth of membership qualifications has expanded.
All along the banking industry has watched, trying to poke holes and interrupt credit union growth. A number of issues have been scrutinized including membership qualifications and tax exemption. Banks assert that credit unions were designed to be small cooperatives, created to help underserved, specific groups but have now exploded in the market, creating an uneven playing field.
The Illinois Bankers Association contends that while no one is arguing that credit unions have continued to help those of modest means, some credit unions have exploded into multi-billion dollar entities, which means they’ve strayed from their original design.continue reading »