Members Own Credit Union

A lawsuit is challenging MembersOwn Credit Union's proposed expansion of its membership field to much of southeast Nebraska.

A recent Journal Star article ("Bankers’ groups file suit," June 27) brings to light a distinction between not-for-profit community credit unions and for-profit banks. Credit unions are cooperatives owned by their members, whereas banks are owned by a few shareholders.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Commission reported in February that banks nationwide saw their net profits climb to an astounding $236.7 billion in 2018, which equated to an overall 44% increase from 2017. In Nebraska, the 170 banks chartered here enjoyed $1 billion in net profits in 2018 alone. Banks reap record profits, yet they file a lawsuit wasting taxpayer dollars to stop any competition.

The Nebraska Bankers Association president is quoted suggesting that credit unions don’t pay taxes. That is playing loose with the facts, knowing state credit unions pay state and local taxes.

In fact, credit unions like MembersOwn Credit Union pay the exact same state taxes as banks including, but not limited to, the Financial Institution Deposits Tax, property taxes and sales taxes.

Bankers also omit how banks won big tax breaks with the 2017 federal tax bill, lowering their effective corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%. Banks want to pretend not-for-profit credit unions are unduly competing with banks, but common-sense Nebraskans aren’t fooled by record profits last year.

The only thing standing between banks and even higher profits are not-for-profit credit unions, which are really behind the deep-seated anger of the banks and their extraordinary efforts to limit financial choice for Nebraska consumers.

J. Scott Sullivan, Omaha

President and CEO, Nebraska Credit Union League

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