Below is an excerpt from an opinion article written by Brett Thompson, president/CEO of Wisconsin Credit Union League, in response to the one written last week by Brendon T. Wilkinson, president of First Community Bank, Milton and Craig O'Leary, executive vice president of Farmers & Merchants Bank of Orfordville.

The Wednesday letter to the editor, "Credit unions benefit from corporate welfare,” missed the mark: Credit unions aren’t the same as for-profit banks.

Wisconsin credit unions are not-for-profit cooperatives chartered solely to serve members by improving their financial condition. Without stockholders to profit, earnings are returned to help members save thousands of dollars each year through better loan and savings rates and fewer fees. Statewide, credit union members saved over $220 million in 2017 alone.

Fulfilling that purpose also benefits the communities members live in. For example, Wisconsin credit unions operate student-run branches in communities all across the state. These branches don’t make money for credit unions, but are valuable for encouraging students to save earlier. In making that decision, they prioritize what’s best for people over profit. Wisconsin credit unions operate 100 such in-school branches.

Read more in the Janesville Gazette.

Click here to view WBA's fact sheets on credit unions.

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