Major industry advocacy groups voice concern over how data will be collected and analyzed.
The Defense Department has hired a contractor to conduct a study about credit union and bank access to military bases, according to three credit union trade groups.
And those groups—the Defense Credit Union Council, the Credit Union National Association and the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions—want to make sure that the industry has input into the study.
What Are the Rules Regarding Credit Unions on Military Bases?
The battle between banks and credit unions over access to military bases is fought every year, as Congress considers the annual defense authorization bill. The House Armed Services Committee last year included language in its version of the annual defense authorization bill requesting the report.
Under current law, credit unions, but not banks, may have rent-free branches on military bases. Banks have long argued that they too should have that benefit. Credit union trade groups have fired back that they are non-profit, member-owned institutions and as such, they should be given that benefit.
Why Credit Unions are Uneasy About the Study
In a letter to Pentagon officials, the three groups wrote that little is known about the contractor’s work.
“To date, details surrounding the report have not been shared with any of the impacted financial institutions targeted in the study, nor have any credit unions or their associations been contacted to provide information for the study,” they wrote in the letter. They added they are particularly concerned that a report will be sent to Capitol Hill without their input, which, they said, could paint an inaccurate and incomplete picture.
The groups’ main concerns center around the nature of the questions, the sample size and where the data is being collected on the installation, as well as whether mobile or online banking alternatives are considered.