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Business Observer Friday, Jun. 8, 2018 1 year ago

Credit where it's due

The ongoing rivalry between banks and credit unions takes another twist.

It’s no secret banks and credit unions don’t exactly see eye to eye on most issues.

The institutional rivalry could now become even more heated in Florida’s Gulf Coast region, with news that Tampa-based Suncoast Credit Union recently launched a commercial insurance department.

According to a press release, the department will be part of Members Insurance Center LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Suncoast, and will offer general liability and coverage to business owners for commercial property, commercial auto and worker’s compensation. Umbrella, manufacturing, product liability, business interruption, cybersecurity and many more coverages will also be available, the release adds.

Banks will likely see Suncoast’s move as another encroachment on their turf and fodder for more calls to end credit unions’ tax-exempt status. Considering that Suncoast, based on membership alone, is the largest credit union in Florida and ninth-largest in the United States, it does send a competitive message that would be difficult, if not impossible, to ignore. Suncoast, founded in 1934, had $9 billion in assets and 763,709 members through the first quarter, according to data from the National Credit Union Administration. 

Suncoast also announced that it hired Tatyana Midili, a 15-year veteran of the insurance industry, to head the new commercial insurance department as business development officer. Midili, the release states, will focus on commercial insurance and referring business to MTA's title, business lending and new accounts teams, as well as Suncoast Realty. She will also quote all of Suncoast’s commercial loans for insurance.

(This story was updated to reflect the correct year Suncoast was founded and the correct name of one of the entities Tatyana Midili referrers business to.)

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