Scott Burgess Connects with Radio Audience on Credit Union Difference

When the call came late last week for an opportunity to talk about credit unions on statewide radio, Scott Burgess stepped right up.  The Rivermark CEO agreed to represent Oregon’s credit unions on Oregon Public Broadcasting’s Think Out Loud program. The show is widely popular with Oregonians, known to relish a good dialogue. 

While the topic was the bank lobby’s legislative attempts to impose additional taxes and regulatory burdens on credit unions, Burgess understood that the opportunity to talk in-depth to a large audience was not to be missed.  Think Out Loud takes a deep dive into community issues during its hour- long program Monday-Friday, devoting twenty-minute segments to each topic.

Trey Maust, Co-President and CEO of Lewis and Clark Bank, represented the bank lobby, but agreed with Burgess on many points about over-regulation. Maust lamented the fact that the big Wall St. banks partly responsible for the economic crisis cast a negative pall on all banks.

Burgess, meanwhile, strongly communicated the credit union value proposition making points including:

  • The not-for-profit, cooperative structure of credit unions, not their size, is the reason for the credit union corporate tax exemption.
  • Additional tax on Oregon credit unions would be devastating for credit unions and members because of the real, tangible value the tax exemption and not for profit structure returns to consumers.
  • Oregon credit union members enjoyed $121 million as a direct result of their membership and even bank customers benefitted financially as competition from credit unions kept their fees lower.

While sharing examples of Rivermark’s community outreach, Burgess pointed out the even higher calling credit unions are answering in communities is providing loans to consumers and businesses.  Credit unions, Burgess pointed out, stepped up to do more lending to those who most needed it during the Great Recession, while banks dialed back.

The Think Out Loud audience response online and in on-air phone calls overwhelmingly supported the credit union point of view.  The program can be listened to online.

 

Questions or comments? Contact Matt Halvorson, Anthem Editor: mhalvorson@nwcua.org.

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