FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ICBA Statement on GAO’s Credit Union Report
Tax-paying banks better serve low- and moderate-income people than tax-exempt credit unions
Washington, D.C. (December 1, 2006)—The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) President and CEO Camden R. Fine issued the following statement regarding the most recent study of credit unions by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) entitled "Credit Unions: Greater Transparency Needed on Who Credit Unions Serve and on Senior Executive Compensation Arrangements":
"ICBA commends the GAO for its comprehensive study examining the credit union industry. The report highlights that tax-paying banks are better serving low- and moderate-income people than tax-exempt credit unions. Furthermore, the study concludes there is little or no transparency in the credit union industry. The credit unions do not even have any solid data to support their mandated role to serve people of modest means. Notably, the credit unions are not subject to the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) as are banks. Taxpayers and policymakers should be extremely concerned that more than $31 billion in lost tax revenues will benefit credit unions in the next decade while they are not fulfilling their fundamental mission of serving low- and moderate-income families."
ICBA has continually called for tax parity between competing tax-paying community banks and tax-exempt credit unions. A fair and unbiased tax system would apply the same tax treatment to similar industries and economic actions and transactions.