Gentile Responds Strongly to Banker Attacks, Letter Appears in Courier News and Home News Tribune

Monday, May 16, 2011 12:01:00 PM

In response to a letter published in the Courier News and Home News Tribune last week written by President and CEO of the New Jersey Bankers Association, John McWeeney, NJCUL President/CEO Paul Gentile strongly defends credit unions and their tax exemption in a letter published by both papers last Friday.

McWeeney, in his letter titled "Credit Unions Have Overstepped Mission", criticizes credit unions' federal and state tax exemptions, claiming that credit unions have "strayed from their original mission" of serving underserved markets. McWeeney claims that credit unions "are riding the wave of their tax-free status" in that they're demanding a lift of the business lending cap and access to municipal deposit accounts.

In a strong defense against these claims, Gentile, in his letter titled "Bankers Only Worried About Profits", writes about the real mission of credit unions and how they benefit their members.

"It's important to respond to these baseless claims by the bankers about credit unions expanding beyond their mission. These claims about 'mission' have been misrepresented by bankers for years. We exist to serve our members-no matter what income bracket they fall into-with the best loan and savings offerings," said Gentile.

"Credit unions do an outstanding job of serving the underserved, but are here to serve all members. If the bankers really want to talk about our mission, they should get it right. The core mission of credit unions is to enhance financial literacy. We do that well here in New Jersey with our Reality Fairs, which take financial literacy into the schools. We are also a key catalyst for the New Jersey Coalition for Financial Education's programs to enhance financial literacy. We're happy to talk to bankers about how to enhance financial literacy and welcome partnering with them."

McWeeney's letter can be found here.

Gentile's response letter can be found here.

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