LANSING, Mich. (10/15/10)--The Michigan Credit Union League (MCUL) Board of Directors Thursday announced its endorsement of Rick Snyder (R) for governor, citing his understanding of financial institutions and his balanced policies regarding the role of state government in the financial sector. Snyder is the candidate who understands the importance of the financial services industry for strengthening Michigan’s economy, MCUL said. “As some lawmakers advocate concepts such as a state-owned bank and a two-year moratorium on foreclosures, credit union leaders, who represent main street financial institutions, believe that Michigan’s next governor should carefully limit the role of government in the financial sector,” MCUL & Affiliates CEO David Adams said. “Michigan’s credit unions and other lenders have been battered by economic conditions and additional government regulations,” he continued. “They are finding it difficult to lend in this environment. Our next governor will need to help all main street financial institutions get stronger in order to unfreeze credit markets. Rick Snyder has the leadership skills and market understanding to achieve that. “Many things are necessary to bring Michigan’s economy back and to create jobs. Access to capital from local lenders is one of the most important factors for a revitalized Michigan economy,” Adams said. A moratorium on foreclosures would have a chilling effect on Michigan’s economy and hurt credit unions and other lenders that are struggling to control mortgage-lending related losses stemming from Michigan’s high unemployment rate and struggling housing market, the league said. Credit unions have been lending during the economic crisis while other lenders have not been able to do so. During the past 12 months ending June 30, credit unions’ total loans were up by 1.2%. Michigan banks’ total loans went down 12% in the second quarter, according to data from MCUL. During the same period, all types of credit union lending rose. Small-business loans were up by more than 17% while Michigan banks’ business loans declined 5.7% in the first half of 2010. Michigan needs a governor who understands the important role local lenders, such as credit unions, play in strengthening the economy by making credit available to consumers and small businesses, said the league. This needs to be done without unnecessary government regulations and policies that would serve to further restrict access to credit by adding to lenders’ costs and restricting their ability to grow their loans and deposits, MCUL concluded.