Tax-paying Wisconsin banks compete head to head with tax-exempt credit unions. Although they portray themselves as mom and pop shops for people of modest means, today credit unions are a $1 trillion industry, with many indistinguishable from banks. The BIG difference—they don’t pay federal income taxes, depriving the U.S. Treasury of nearly $2 billion every year.

The Wisconsin Credit Union Story

Background

  • Percent of credit union mortgages originated to low-income individuals, based on state HMDA loan data: 9%
  • Percent of credit union mortgages originated to upper-income individuals, based on state HMDA loan data: 40%
  • 50 HMDA-reporting credit unions serving WI did not make a single loan to a low-income individual
  • 18 HMDA-reporting credit unions serving WI only originated mortgages to upper-income individuals
  • Number of billion-dollar Credit Unions headquartered in WI: 12
  • Number of billion-dollar Credit Unions with branches in WI: 15

Credit Unions Versus Banks

  • Credit union deposit growth: 9.01% from 2006-2016 vs. Bank deposit growth: 3.32% from 2006-2016
  • Landmark Credit Union, with $3.2 billion in assets, is larger than all but two Wisconsin-headquartered banks.

Keith Leggett's Credit Union Watch Blog

  • "Advia Credit Union To Acquire Wisconsin Bank," 2/18/16
  • "Community First CU's MBL Exception," 4/7/14
  • "Westby Co-op to Buy Loans And Deposits at Bank Branch," 9/19/13
  • "Credit Unions Used Federal Reserve's Emergency Loan Facilities," 12/3/10
  • "Wisconsin Governor Announces Major Expansion In UW CU's FOM," 9/27/16

Taxes Paid 

  • Banks: $355.9 million
  • Credit Unions: $0

Abuses

  • Connexus Credit Union allows anyone to join with a $5 donation to the Connexus Association.
    • "None of the above apply. I understand that I can join by making $5 donation, that will be used for charitable purposes, to the Connexus Association." (Membership page, 11/20/17)