GREENSBORO, N.C. (12/26/08)--A letter to the editor from North Carolina Credit Union League President/CEO John Radebaugh sets the record straight in response to a banking association’s statement in an earlier article that large credit unions have grown beyond their original purpose. “Nothing could be further from the truth,” said Radebaugh’s letter. It was published in the Fayette Observer (Dec. 20) and was prompted by an article concerning Navy FCU’s expansion into Fayetteville, N.C. (Fayette Observer Dec. 16). In the original article, the North Carolina Bankers Association said large credit unions have grown beyond their original purpose and were masquerading as a “tax-free means of competition.” Radebaugh outlined credit unions’ not-for-profit structure, cooperative philosophy and their reason for existence--“to help their member-owners reach their financial goals. Meanwhile, banks are for-profit entities set up for the benefit of the shareholders who own them. “These key differences have been on display in the recent credit crisis,” Radebaugh said. “Some large banks recently received a taxpayer bailout for risky loans they made, and yet many of these same institutions have been curtailing lending to consumers. Meanwhile, credit unions have focused on lending to their members and have been a key source of credit to people unable to get loans from banks. They have done so with no taxpayer assistance,” he said.