What one prominent banker gets wrong about credit unions

In a recent news opinion piece for Fox Business News, Alex Sanchez, president/CEO of the Florida Bankers Association, viciously attacked the credit union industry, claiming “corporate welfare” for credit unions must end. It’s a new verse of the same song Sanchez, a longtime opponent of credit unions, has been singing for years, including in a recent Credit Union Journal article.

But I for one am tired of hearing his off-key screeches, which have no basis in fact. He continues to claim that Florida credit unions have outlived their purpose and usefulness, and that somehow the credit union tax exemption has caused the current decline of community banks. As usual, he couldn’t be further from the truth.

His attacks on credit unions, which hold 8.7 percent of the market share in Florida, can’t be justified if he would only look at the large national and regional banks that continue to devour community banks and make it more difficult for all community financial institutions to do business. This rabble rouser should realize there are more than 2,200 for-profit banks in the U.S. that pay no corporate income tax because they organize as tax-exempt Subchapter S banks. And let’s not forget the more than $28 billion in tax breaks the banks received from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

 

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