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CUNA MBL push in prominent spot in IUSA TODAYI
WASHINGTON (3/2/10)--Credit unions' push to lift the cap on member business lending (MBL) took front-page position in USA TODAY's "Money" section Monday.
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In "Credit Unions: Lift Cap on Small Business Loans," Credit Union National Association (CUNA) President/CEO Dan Mica said banks "have huge losses in their portfolio and our business loans are rock solid." The economic downturn presents credit unions' "best opportunity" to persuade lawmakers to lift the MBL cap to 25% from 12.25%, the national publication reported. It noted credit unions have picked up the slack as banks have pulled back on lending, It cited CUNA statistics in comparing loans of banks and credit unions. Banks' outstanding loans to small businesses fell 3.9% in the year ended June 30, while credit union loans rose 11% to $36 billion the first nine months of 2009. CUNA Chief Economist Bill Hampel told the publication that lifting the MBL cap to 25% from 12.25% would free an extra $25 billion or so in loans over three years and add nearly 100,000 jobs the first year. CUNA's witness from Friday's House Financial Services Committee hearing, Ron Covey, CEO of St. Mary's Bank CU, Manchester, N.H., told USA Today that the cap means he can't fund $4.8 million in loans. The article also told about Corvallis, Ore., restaurant owners who were rejected by three banks before OSU FCU approved a loan. The story was paired with a feature on how finances always are on the minds of small business owners. One business owner commented in that article that "in this climate, it is astoundingly hard to secure financing for anything."
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