WASHINGTON (8/13/10)--The banks are at it again, putting their interests ahead of those of consumers and small business owners, Credit Union National Association (CUNA) President/CEO Bill Cheney said in a blog post on The Huffington Post Thursday. It’s time for the U.S. Congress to thwart the banks’ selfishness, and help the country, by giving credit unions greater authority to make more business loans, he wrote. In his blog posting titled “Frustrate the Bankers, Give Credit Unions More Biz-Lending Authority,” Cheney said, “You have to wonder what bankers are thinking, especially since just last week the government reported the nation shed more than 130,000 jobs in July--adding to the concern that more needs to be done to prevent the economic recovery from stalling.” He noted that when Congress finally broke for its summer home-district work period this week, banks had not budged from “stubbornly blocking a commonsense approach for creating more jobs: legislation that would give credit unions more authority to make business loans.” CUNA and credit unions are urging lawmakers to raise the caps on member business lending (MBL) at credit unions. Credit unions are capped at making no more than 12.25% of their assets in MBLs. Congress will return to session on Sept. 13, and credit unions should make good use of each day before that to advocate to lawmakers on their home turf for an increased credit union MBL cap, Cheney has urged. Cheney said credit unions should use the current August District Work Period to meet with senators on their home turf and seek support for the MBL increase. Use the opportunity to refute banker rhetoric in opposition to an amendment by Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) to a budget stimulus bill that would raise the caps to 27.5%, Cheney said. CUNA estimates that lifting the caps would create more than 100,000 new jobs, and inject $10 billion into the economy. “There is no public policy reason not to permit credit unions to do more lending to their members who own or want to start small businesses,” Cheney added. “In fact, credit unions have proven for years they are capable of making these types of loans safely and soundly.” For more information, use the link.