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Banks turn to Nebraska lawmakers in fight with credit unions

Banks turn to Nebraska lawmakers in fight with credit unions
Nebraska Unicameral

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) – A national fight between for-profit banks and nonprofit credit unions is spilling into Nebraska, and state lawmakers could get caught in the middle.

Nebraska’s banking industry is supporting a bill this year that would require state regulators to notify them anytime a credit union seeks approval to expand its membership, giving bankers the opportunity to challenge it in a public hearing.

Credit unions say the bill is intended to stifle competition. Bankers note that credit unions enjoy tax breaks that aren’t available to banks.

The bill comes as several Nebraska-based credit unions try to move into parts of the state dominated by banks, following a similar trend nationwide that has pitted banks against the nonprofit lenders.

A similar dispute has erupted in Iowa. Last week, the state’s top banking lobbyists called on lawmakers to impose the same tax on credit unions that banks pay and “end credit unions’ free ride.”

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