ST. PAUL, Minn. (7/27/11)--Mark D. Cummins, president/CEO of the Minnesota Credit Union Network (MnCUN) proclaimed Minnesota credit unions have the potential to significantly improve the state economy, in the July 25 issue of Finance & Commerce
A regular columnist for Finance and Commerce
, a daily publication covering business in Minnesota, Cummins wrote that credit unions have the capability and capacity to help the state’s businesses create jobs. The column, titled, “Credit unions stand ready to help boost the sluggish economy,” noted that during the past year credit unions have increased member business lending by 5%, while the state’s banks decreased business lending activity by 8%. “Credit unions are eager to increase their efforts to help the state’s small businesses create jobs, but they are being held back by a cap that limits member business lending (MBL) to 12.25% of assets,” Cummins wrote. Referencing member business lending legislation in the U.S. House and Senate, Cummins stated that the passage of these bills could inject $181 million into Minnesota’s economy and help create nearly 2,000 jobs. He highlighted the fact that these new jobs and new loans would be created at zero cost to the public. “I would argue that not passing this legislation leaves money on the table that could help small businesses and hire some of the 6.7% of Minnesotans actively seeking jobs,” Cummins concluded. “Now is the time to pass this bill and allow credit unions to fully serve the small businesses that are the engine of our state’s economic growth.” The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and credit unions are asking 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 $13 billion in loans into the economy and create as many as 140,000 new jobs, with no cost to taxpayers, CUNA said.