WASHINGTON (4/19/12)--The Consumer Federation of America (CFA) has joined the list of organizations that support a member business lending (MBL) authority increase for credit unions, telling senators that the Small Business Lending Enhancement Act of 2012 (S. 2231) would "expand access to affordable credit for small businesses and help strengthen local marketplaces that serve consumers well."
S. 2231, which is expected to come up for a Senate vote soon, would increase the MBL cap from 12.25% of assets to 27.5%. The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) has estimated that lifting the MBL cap from 12.25% to 27.5% of assets would create 140,000 jobs and inject $13 billion in new funds into the economy, at no cost to taxpayers.
CFA Executive Director Stephen Brobeck in a letter to members of the Senate said MBL cap increase legislation "would be particularly beneficial at this time," and would "benefit consumers both by promoting competition and innovation in local marketplaces and by strengthening credit unions."
Moreover, to the extent new jobs were created, some consumers would gain additional income, the letter said.
"Credit unions are especially deserving of this opportunity" and "have a strong record of serving consumer and communities, especially moderate-income areas that have been particularly hard-hit by the recession." Credit unions also "have had much past success in providing low-cost, sustainable credit to consumers and small businesses," and would "be able to invest in loans that likely will increase credit union earnings, capital contributions, and overall safety and soundness, directly benefitting all credit union members," if greater MBL authority is given to them, the letter added.
The National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA) earlier this month asked members of the cooperative community to communicate the crucial funding needs of small businesses, and the importance of supporting MBL cap increase legislation, to members of the U.S. Congress. A number of other groups have also stepped up to back credit unions and an MBL cap increase. (See related April 4 News Now story: NCBA urges members to call for MBL bill support)
Those organizations include the National Council of Textile Organizations, the American Small Business Chamber of Commerce, the National Farmers Union, the National Association of Realtors, the Realtors Land Institute, the Small Business Majority, the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors, the CCIM Institute, Americans for Tax Reform, the American Consumer Institute, the Hardwood Federation, the Institute of Real Estate Management, NCB Capital Impact MultiFunding, the National Association of Home Builders, the National Association of Professional Insurance Agents, AMT--The Association for Manufacturing Technology, the U.S. Women's Chamber of Commerce, and the Heartland Institute.