Banking Super PAC Assails ‘Fake Credit Unions’

A banking super political action committee has produced a slick new video alleging that “fake credit unions” are diverting much-needed tax money from the nation’s schools and have abandoned their mission to serve the needy.

“It may look like a credit union and talk like a credit union, but it’s a fake credit union,” the group alleges in the animated video.

“Friends of Traditional Banking” has posted the video on the organization’s website and on its YouTube page, but it is unclear where else it is being shown.

The group is called a super PAC because it is allowed to raise unlimited amounts of money from corporations and individuals. It is permitted to spend unlimited amounts of money on behalf of candidates as long as it does not coordinate the spending with the candidate.

“Serving the poor is an essential part of a credit union’s mission,” the group says in the video. “It’s one of the main reasons why credit union profits aren’t taxed.”

But some credit unions are using their profits to grow and advertise that anyone can join, the group contends in the video.

By remaining tax exempt, those credit unions fail to support local public services, the group said, adding that people should not have to decide where to bank based on which financial institutions support their community.

“You shouldn’t have to worry that your decision might hurt your local schools or take funding away from your police, fire or other services,” the video concludes.

Friends of Traditional Banking raises money from banks and bankers across the country. Each election cycle, the group endorses two candidates and spends its money on independent expenditures on their behalf.

“We’re the inverse of a PAC—instead of spreading a little bit of money to a lot of campaigns, we focus a lot of money on a couple of key campaigns,” the group explains on its website.

The super PAC has not endorsed any candidates for the 2020 election cycle. The group has not made any campaign contributions this election cycle, according to Federal Election Commission records.

In 2018, it endorsed Senate Banking Committee member Jon Tester (D-Mt.) and Rep. Andy Barr (R-Ky.), a member of the House Financial Services Committee.

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