NWCUA/CUES Executive Summit Attendees Hear Study Debunking Bank Lobby Claims about Credit Union Tax Model

More than 60 credit union leaders are gathered in Sunriver, Oregon this week for the Executive Summit, presented in partnership by the Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA) and the Northwest Council of the Credit Union Executive Society (CUES).

In a keynote presentation Thursday morning, ECONorthwest economist Dr. Michael Wilkerson shared a detailed analysis of the report he and his colleague, Dr. Randall Pozdena, completed late this spring. Credit Unions vs. Banks; The Myth of the Uneven Playing Field was commissioned by the NWCUA to determine whether credit unions’ corporate tax exemption puts banks at an unfair competitive disadvantage, as the bank lobby has long claimed. The report is the first of its kind to put decades of credit union and commercial bank data to an empirical test.

The study is a key piece of evidence for credit unions as congress considers tax reform, and the bank lobby misses no opportunity to try to put credit unions on the chopping block.

According to Dr. Wilkerson, the report looked at credit union market share vs. the national and state tax rates. Wilkerson emphatically told the Summit attendees that there is “absolutely no relationship whatsoever between the corporate tax rate and credit union market share . . . This data alone debunks almost everything the critics have to say.”

Wilkerson said data supports credit unions’ continued focus on Main St.—an emphasis the bank lobby claims credit unions have gotten away from. The ECONorthwest report found a high concentration of available credit union service in the Northwest, with 32 of Oregon’s 36 counties having local credit union branches, and 33 of Washington’s 39 counties served by local branches.

“We looked at the data from a completely independent third party perspective,” Wilkerson said. “The data is the data. It speaks for itself.”

Among other highlights for NWCUA/CUES Executive Summit attendees is a dialogue tomorrow with Bill Cheney, president/CEO of the Credit Union National Association (CUNA).


Questions? Contact Lynn Heider: 503.350.2225, lheider@nwcua.org.

Posted in Advocacy News, Awards, Events, MAXX Annual Convention, NWCUA.