The high-pitched fight over credit union purchases of banks received scant attention when the House Financial Services Committee pressed financial regulators Wednesday.
Rep. French Hill (R-Ark.) said that community bankers in his district have raised the issue with him and he asked Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Chairwoman Jelena McWilliams about the issue.
McWilliams did not directly address the credit union issue. Instead, McWilliams said that any consolidation of banks—particularly community banks—worries her. “We always have a lot of questions, particularly when it’s a community bank,” she said.
National Credit Union Administration Chairman Todd Harper was not asked to address the issue.
In recent days, the American Bankers Association and the Independent Community Bankers of America have asked Congress to press regulators on bank purchases. They contend, among other things, that credit unions have an advantage in such transactions, since they are tax exempt.
Credit union trade groups have responded, saying that the banks being purchased have chosen credit unions as their buyers.