Military Times Op-Ed Calls for Level Playing Field for Banks, CUs on Military Bases

Banks and credit unions should receive the same treatment when operating on military bases, American Bankers Association President and CEO Rob Nichols wrote in an joint op-ed with the heads of the Associations of Military Banks of America and the Independent Community Bankers of America.

The op-ed—which ran in the Military Times, a widely circulated newspaper reaching members of the armed forces, their families and veterans—noted that under current law, tax-exempt credit unions may operate rent-free on military installations, unlike taxpaying banks. “Unfortunately, over the past 15 years, rising rent and other government-imposed costs have forced banks to leave over 40 percent of military bases,” the CEOs wrote. A provision included in the Senate version of the National Defense Authorization Act would help ease that disparity, allowing more banks to serve military customers.

“Americans outside the gate of most military installations have a choice when it comes to financial services,” the op-ed said. “Unless Congress levels the playing field for banks and credit unions, military families living and working on military bases won’t.”