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CU System
Free up CUs boost economy Florida op-ed on MBLs
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (4/5/10)--Congress can free up credit unions and boost the economy by lifting the cap on member business loans (MBL), an op-ed from the CEO of Florida Commerce CU in the Tallahassee Democrat suggested Friday. In the article, Cecilia Homison, CEO of the Tallahassee-based credit union, noted government programs for banks that have the word "bailout" attached. "However, there is another way to infuse capital into the marketplace, and it wouldn't cost taxpayers a penny," Homison wrote. "Credit unions are asking Congress to lift the statutory limit on small-business lending from the current 12.25% of an assets cap to 25%," she wrote. If the cap were increased, credit unions could infuse an additional $10 billion to assist struggling small businesses in the first year alone, Homison wrote. "Plus, this would not impact credit unions' ability to make much-needed consumer loans," she said, citing estimates from the Credit Union National Association that the additional capital could create 108,000 jobs by helping small businesses grow. Credit unions' share of the market would double, to 10% nationally but banks would still control 90% of the commercial loan market, Homison explained. "It's OK to use an active word with our financial situation. I think the word 'grow' would be perfect. With credit unions' help, small businesses will continue to 'grow' and the economy will begin to 'grow' out of this downturn. All it will take is active thinking from Congress to raise the credit union member business lending cap," she concluded. For the full article, use the link.
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