WASHINGTON (4/12/12)--The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) is warning lawmakers to not be fooled by the misinformation being circulated by bankers in an attempt to derail potential Senate action that could increase the credit union member business lending (MBL) cap."
Sen. Mark Udall's (D-Colo.) legislation, S. 2231, would increase the MBL cap from 12.25% of assets to 27.5% of assets, injecting $13 billion in new funds into the economy and creating 140,000 new jobs, at no cost to taxpayers, CUNA has said. A vote on the Senate bill is expected once members of Congress return to Washington on April 16, and Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.), a key sponsor of House MBL legislation, has promised a vote on his bill after any Senate action.
CUNA Senior Vice President of Legislative Affairs Ryan Donovan said "bankers have been pelting legislators with twisted facts ahead of the vote."
To challenge this misinformation campaign, CUNA has distributed a fact sheet that corrects banker assertions to all members of Congress.
The fact sheet notes that:
- Credit unions have been lending to small businesses for more than 100 years;
- More than 500 credit unions are or will be bumping against the MBL cap in under three years, and the low current cap of 12.25% of assets means that two-thirds of credit unions, most of which hold under $50 million in assets, cannot justify the cost of investing in new business lending programs;
- The average credit union business loan is $219,000; and
- MBL cap increase legislation is not, in fact, "controversial," but has been introduced in each of the last four Congresses.
MBL cap increase legislation "is only controversial because the banks don't like it… everyone else thinks it's a no-brainer," the fact sheet adds.