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MBL supported in Banker and Trademan editorial, NPR podcast, Va radio
MADISON, Wis. (1/4/13)--The Credit Union National Association (CUNA)-backed legislation to raise credit unions' member business lending (MBL) cap received airing and support in a Banker and Trademan editorial, a National Public Radio (NPR) podcast in Connecticut, and a radio station  in Virginia Thursday.

WNPR, the NPR affiliate in Connecticut, featured Brian Orenstein, CEO of Groton, Conn.-based Charter Oak FCU, and Tony Emerson, CEO of the Credit Union League of Connecticut. They expressed the need for congressional action on raising the MBL cap to allow for much-needed small business lending that will provide a positive boost in the local as well as the nation's economy.

Charter Oak FCU will "only have about three or four more years of business lending to do" before hitting the cap, said Orenstein.  "So when you look at a strategic plan, it's hard to build resources like people, experienced lenders who look at quality and also have the relationships.  After five years, we would almost have to stop doing that business, and what do you say to our business lending people, what do you say in your strategic planning?"

Orenstein and Emerson noted that seeking credit union charter enhancements such raising the MBL to 27.5% of assets and supplemental capital authority will be priorities for CUNA and the leagues in 2013.

The article also noted that the banking lobby is standing in the way, and credit unions are "locked in a longstanding and occasionally bizarre struggle with the banks over the legislation."

Other media reports:

  • Banker and Tradesman, a weekly trade publication in Massachusetts, lent its support to lifting the cap in Dec. 30 editorial, "Leveling the Field," said the Massachusetts Credit Union League (eWeekly Jan. 2).  The editorial urges the commonwealth's congressional delegation to support the effort. "Massachusetts' congressional and senate delegation should do its best to ensure that 2013 is finally the year that credit unions have the same ability to provide loans to small businesses as their banking industry counterparts," it said. The editorial was accompanied by a news article, "Credit Unions Push for Higher Commercial Lending Cap."
  • In Virginia, Newsradio WINA's "Morning News with Rick and Jane," featured Rhett A. Buttle,  national outreach and governmental affairs, the Small Business Majority, which does research with small business owners. "Community banks and credit unions are lifeline lenders," Buttle said. "They are in the community, they know the businesses." He also discussed the organization's work with CUNA in bringing small business owners to Congress in support of raising the MBL cap. "We're really agnostic as to where the money comes from, but we are for pragmatic solutions to get small businesses going," Buttle told the station.
To access the full reports, use the links.

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