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Maryland CUs focus on MBLs reported
GAITHERSBURG, Md. (10/26/11)--An article on Gazette.net described how Maryland credit union member business lending (MBL) is helping state small businesses.

"More credit unions, which have long focused on consumer lending, have been offering business loans, particularly serving an often neglected small-business segment," explains the article, headlined "Maryland credit unions sharpen focus on commercial lending."

The article cites Credit Union National Association (CUNA) statistics that say 30% of credit unions provided members the opportunity to obtain business loans in June, up from 25% in 2007.

National Institutes of Health (NIH) FCU, Rockville, Md., is featured in the article. The MBL program at NIH FCU began last year. The credit union has about $14 million in business loan volume, with most loans ranging from $250,000 to $500,000, said CEO Juli Anne Callis.

The article describes how NIH FCU provided an MBL to Maryland dentist Steven Rattner, who sought a lender to refinance his commercial property.

"The application was quick and straightforward, plus [credit union] representatives had an impressive one-on-one approach that helped me understand the process while also saving me valuable time," Rattner in the article.

The article also describes how CUNA and credit unions are urging the U.S. Congress to increase credit unions' MBL cap to 27.5% from the current 12.25%. Doing so would open up more opportunity to offer MBLs, inject $13 billion in loans into the economy and create about 140,000 new jobs, with no cost to taxpayers, according to CUNA.

In other MBL news, the Michigan Credit Union League (MCUL) recently facilitated a discussion with  U.S. Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.) at his district office in Dearborn, Mich. Jim Kirk, director of community relations at University of Michigan CU, Ann Arbor, Mich.; Mike Newman, president/CEO of Monroe County Community CU, Monroe, Mich.; and Tony Carnarvon, president/CEO of Co-Op Services CU, Livonia, Mich.; discussed the importance of pending MBL legislation in making more credit available to Michigan businesses.

In addition to discussing bill language specifics, credit union leaders in attendance provided Dingell with letters of support from both the Department of Treasury and National Credit Union Administration. The MCUL also shared CUNA's "Open Letter," which highlights the growing list of other trade associations/groups supporting the MBL authority increase. The participants asked Dingell to consider co-sponsoring the legislation. H.R. 1418 currently has seven co-sponsors from Michigan.

To read the article, use the link.
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