On Thursday, the Panama City News Herald ran an Op-Ed by LSCU President/CEO Patrick La Pine responding to the recent wide-spread criticism of credit unions by banks. The column was a rebuttal to arguments that credit unions should not be tax-exempt institutions.

In the piece, La Pine says, “Recently, bankers have been taking to their local papers to attack credit unions using their outdated and anti-consumer arguments. The bankers want you to believe some credit unions have outgrown their purpose just because they’ve grown in asset size. The truth is the credit union tax exemption has never been based on the size of an institution, nor on the products and services they offer. Credit unions remain exempt from corporate income taxes because of their cooperative structure. Any “profit” made by the credit union is reinvested back into the institution to serve its members in the form of better rates and/or lower fees, rather than being paid out to stockholders.

“Additionally, in Florida, credit union board members are volunteers, unlike paid directors at banks. To criticize an institution based on its size, rather than the service they provide, is disingenuous and self-serving. There is a reason credit unions continue to outperform banks in consumer satisfaction surveys (92 percent to 82 percent in the recent FIS Performance Against Customer Expectations survey), and it has nothing to do with taxes. Consumers are flocking to credit unions because they exist to serve their members, not outside shareholders.”

Read the full article here.