MADISON, Wis. (7/28/10)--Credit unions are seeing signs of improvement for members as they strive to come out of the recession, and credit unions want to do more to help by providing more small-business loans, Bill Cheney, president/CEO of the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), told Fox Business News Monday. “We’re seeing a lot of signs of improvement actually,” Cheney said, when asked how he thought consumers were faring. “We’ve seen delinquency rates at credit unions decline and loan losses decline--a lot of good signs.” An accompanying graphic on the show indicated how credit unions nationwide have significantly lower delinquency and net charge-off rates than banks. Credit unions are the only lenders that are aggressively lending wherever they can--to small businesses in particular, Cheney said. When asked about the obstacles to passing a pending amendment to an economic stimulus bill in Congress that would lift credit unions’ small business lending cap to 27.5% of total assets from the current 12.25%, Cheney pointed to banks. “The only real hang-up is banks’ opposition,” he said. “Bankers aren’t lending and they don’t want credit unions to lend, either.” If the amendment passes, CUNA estimates that, in the first year, credit unions could lend $10 billion and create 108,000 jobs to help the country come out of the recession, Cheney added. He also pointed out that the earliest credit unions were making business loans 100 years ago, and that today---in some markets--credit unions are the No. 1 small-business lenders. “It’s common-sense legislation,” Cheney said. “There is no good policy argument not to do it, and we think it ought to happen soon.” To see the video, click on the button.