None of these ideas are new, and some community banks and credit unions already embody many of these qualities. But federal and state legislation has hobbled credit unions from competing with the big banks, for instance by requiring credit unions to be “member only” institutions, permitted only to serve certain subsets of the population rather than everyone. It is easy to guess how and why this federal legislation has come about, because the credit union model offers potentially much better and cheaper services than a for-profit bank. You can thank the banking lobbyists that most of us have been denied this possibility.
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