GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (12/17/10)--Lake Michigan CU in Grand Rapids, Mich., aims to double its amount of member business loans (MBL) next year to take advantage of what it says is a marketplace void created when banks cut back on lending during the recession. The credit union took action to bolster its commercial lending arm by hiring a commercial lender to work in specific markets in 2011 (mlive.com Dec. 16). “We’re trying to do business where we have people and operations,” Mark Hofhines, senior vice president of commercial lending at Lake Michigan CU, told the publication. “There are a lot of good customers that are not getting what they deserve.” The credit union, which has 31 offices in West Michigan and assets of $2.07 billion, grew total MBL by 55% to $35.1 million from September 2009 to September 2010, according to a quarterly financial report filed with federal regulators. The credit union has a backlog of $15 million in loans, Hofhines told mlive.com. Statewide, Michigan credit unions grew MBL 22.9% for the 12 months ending Sept. 30, according to the Michigan Credit Union League. The article also mentioned Honor CU in St. Joseph, and First Community CU in Parchment for their MBL growth. The Credit Union National Association and credit unions are trying to get Congress to increase credit unions’ MBL cap to 27.5% of assets from 12.25%. Doing so would open up more opportunity to offer MBLs, inject $10 billion in loans into the economy and create as many as 100,000 new jobs, with no cost to taxpayers. To read the article, use the link.