GREENSBORO, N.C. (1/11/10)--Coastal FCU could help many more small businesses if lawmakers increase credit unions’ member business lending caps, according to a North Carolina Credit Union League video. Peter Van Graafeiland, Coastal’s vice president of mortgage and business services, spoke in a video produced by the league about the caps. Credit unions are currently capped at lending 12.25% of their assets and Coastal has bumped up against the cap since 2005. A bill pending in Congress would raise the cap to 25%. If the cap were raised, credit unions could offer another $10 billion in commercial credit, said Van Graafeiland. Many businesses have approached Coastal for credit help when their previous lenders scaled back. “People say the financial institution they’ve been with for 10 to 15 years decided not to serve them anymore,” he said. “They come here--we are interested, and we help a lot of them.” Coastal launched its member business lending department in 2001. It has four commercial loan officers with more than 100 years of combined experience in lending. Each year, Coastal makes about $10 million in business loans. It wants to make more, but it is bumping up against the cap (Weekly Update Jan. 8). “We could easily double our volume and not strain the system,” Van Graafeiland said.