COLUMBUS, Ohio (7/10/09)--Credit unions can capitalize on increased in-fighting between large and small banks over big banks’ bailout with federal tax dollars, and banks’ reduced political lobbying and campaign contributions, according to the Ohio Credit Union League. The Independent Community Bankers of America ran a full-color ad in a June edition of Roll Call, a Capitol Hill newspaper, criticizing “irresponsible big institutions getting bailed out by the U.S. government using their tax dollars.” In contrast, it claims that “community banks exist to protect and provide for [ordinary people]" (eLumination Newsletter July 8). These trends, combined with the positive attention given to credit unions throughout the economic crisis, create one of the greatest advocacy opportunities of the decade, said John Florian, league vice president of government affairs. “Elected officials and policymakers are eager to learn about credit union differentiation, how members are empowered through affordable and accessible services, and that credit unions are local institutions that benefit their communities,” Florian said. “Additionally, it presents an ideal opportunity to educate legislators on changes needed to enable credit unions to better serve current and potential members.” Advocacy not only helps credit unions retain their tax-exempt status, but also serves to enhance credit unions’ business environments---such as increasing the cap on member business lending and revising prompt corrective actions levels, Florian added. “The bottom line is banks are distracted and have focused their attention elsewhere,” Florian said. This provides an opportunity for credit unions to ensure a thriving future for the credit union movement, he concluded.