MADISON, Wis. (8/12/11)--The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) says that small-business lending statistics indicate banks are not doing enough lending to help small-business owners, according to a Thursday article in The Wall Street Journal. “Banks have requested less than $12 billion of the $30 billion made available by the last year’s Small Business Jobs Act, the Treasury Department has said,” wrote Emily Maltby in the article. “The government program offered low-interest funds to community banks so that they could boost small-business lending.” The amount banks are lending is not sufficient, CUNA says. “Congress last year gave the banks $30 billion to make small business loans, but the banks’ response has been tepid at best,” Bill Cheney, CUNA president/CEO, told the Journal. “Credit unions don’t need $30 billion in government assistance; we’re just trying to raise a lending cap in the law that’s arbitrary and outdated.” CUNA and credit unions are pressing Congress to increase credit unions’ member business lending (MBL) cap to 27.5% of assets from 12.25%. Doing so would open up more opportunity to offer MBLs, inject $13 billion in loans into the economy and create as many as 140,000 new jobs, with no cost to taxpayers, CUNA said. The article mentioned that Lister Hill CU in Muscle Shoals, Ala., and Provo (Utah) Postal CU had to turn down loans to small businesses because they were too close to the federally mandated MBL cap. CUNA shared the article with House and Senate congressional offices, accompanied by a message Thursday from Cheney, noting “how credit unions can help small businesses create new jobs at no cost to taxpayers. “Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) and Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.) have introduced legislation, S. 509 and H.R. 1418, to help small businesses, and we encourage your member to show support by co-sponsoring this legislation.” To read the article, use the link.