ICBA Urges House Panel to Use Upcoming Hearing to Probe Credit Unions

The nation’s community bankers are urging a House subcommittee to use an upcoming hearing to investigate the purchase of community banks by credit unions.

The Independent Community Bankers of America is asking the House Financial Services Committee’s Consumer Protection and Financial Institutions Subcommittee to explore the issue during a Sep. 29 hearing on “The Future of Banking: How Consolidation, Nonbank Competition, and Technology are Reshaping the Banking System.”

The witnesses for that hearing have not been announced. However, the family of ranking subcommittee member Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.) owns a community bank.

Ahead of the hearing, the ICBA this week launched a print and digital campaign breaking down the impact of the tax exemption on each state. The print ads are scheduled to run this week and next week in editions of “USA Today” in Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

The campaign also features digital ads.

In a letter to House Financial Services Committee leaders, ICBA President/CEO Rebeca Romero Rainey wrote that if the panel is interested in exploring consolidation, it must probe the credit union purchases.

“To ensure the hearing is comprehensive in scope, we ask that you use this opportunity to examine the role of tax-exempt credit unions, including the trend of multibillion dollar credit unions purchasing smaller community banks, in driving industry consolidation,” she wrote.

She added, “A hearing that does not examine the harmful effects of credit union acquisitions of community banks would be a missed opportunity and a disservice to the American public.”

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