Letters to the Editor

Credit unions earned their nonprofit status

When I was younger, I went to a local bank for a loan. The bank officer, who was the head of that prominent bank, without listening to anything I said, told me he’d be happy to give me a loan, if my father co-signed. I went to my local credit union. They listened, evaluated my proposal and granted a loan — at lower terms than the bank. I’ve been a member ever since.

That was the University of Iowa Community Credit Union, which at that time had its headquarters on the Pentacrest. So, when banker John Sorensen says my credit union is “deceiving consumers” about its affiliation with the University (“Why Iowa’s biggest credit union should start apologizing,” Jan. 13), I must respectfully disagree. The relationship has been long and clear. Members even rose up to oppose any name change, which Republican legislators couldn’t seem to tolerate.

I do agree with Sorensen that the salaries of officers at our largest credit unions are too high. But then, so are the salaries of most bank and corporate executives, legislators, college presidents and football coaches, hospital executives, et al. What else is new?

But here’s the real deal: Membership in my credit union gives me a vote in its management. If I’m unhappy, I can use that vote. Would having an account at any Iowa banks give me that? Not a chance. And that’s why credit unions are different from banks and should continue to operate under current rules, as nonprofit corporations.

Jim Walters

Iowa City

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