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Washington
Congressional recess key time for grassroots MBL push
WASHINGTON (3/31/10)--With Congress away from Washington until April 12, the central front for member business lending (MBL) advocacy has shifted to individual districts. Credit union members and representatives alike are participating in grassroots action, and the Credit Union National Association (CUNA)has sought to coordinate these activities with a trove of online resources. Items in the CUNA archive include background information for advocates and members of the press, letters both to and between members of Congress in support of MBLs. In the information that CUNA has shared with credit union backers, CUNA cites not only the safety and sound financial judgment that credit unions represent, but also addresses small businesses and their needs for funding. CUNA also notes the vast experience that many credit unions have regarding business lending, and cites statistics that demonstrate that while bank lending has decreased by 11% over the last year, the amount of business lending done by credit unions has grown by 15% over the same time period. CUNA has estimated that lifting the current member business lending cap of 12.25% to 25% of credit unions’ assets would allow credit unions to extend up to $10 billion in additional business loans to their members, helping them to create 108,000 jobs in the first year following enactment. As CUNA was urging credit unions to advocate for MBLs, a Wall Street Journal article outlined the credit union push for increased lending and the bankers' opposition to it. "The stars are aligned, and now is the perfect time for this to happen," CUNA Senior Vice President of Legislative Affairs John Magill told the Journal. Magill also noted commercial lender opposition to credit unions attempts to “impede” on their loan market share, “especially during the financial turmoil that has crippled more than 200 banks." National Credit Union Administration Board Member Michael Fryzel, speaking at the Illinois Credit Union League’s Legislative Conference, recently encouraged credit union advocates to share their story with their elected representatives.
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