Bankers intensify battle against CU growth

A battle in Nebraska and one brewing in Iowa raise concerns for credit unions throughout the U.S., and the LSCU is closely following these stories and their potential industry impact. Credit unions in Nebraska have made efforts to expand into areas where banks are more prevalent, raising protests among bankers. The banking industry in Nebraska is supporting a bill requiring state regulators to notify banks when credit unions ask to expand FOM, which opens the doors for banks to challenge that expansion in public hearings.

A source close to the LSCU cites concerns on the issue because several key Nebraska lawmakers are bankers in key positions.

Iowa also is facing issues with bankers calling on lawmakers to tax credit unions. A tax increase bill in Iowa Legislature stalled, but a measure was passed prohibiting credit unions in Iowa using the names of state universities, such as University of Iowa Community Credit Union.

According to an article on NTVabc, Richard Baier, president of the Nebraska Bankers Association, is leading the charge for his state. The article said, “He said his group doesn’t mind smaller, niche credit unions, but is concerned that many of them are growing rapidly and acting like large banks when their original purpose was to provide basic financial services for people of ordinary means.”

A hearing is set for Tuesday before the Legislature’s Banking, Commerce, and Insurance Committee in Nebraska. To date, there have been no indications that bankers in Alabama or Florida intend to try this tactic, but the LSCU Advocacy Team will keep you updated as more is learned.