WASHINGTON(2/3/09)—The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) has released a new report to back credit unions in their campaign to help the economy by providing more credit to small businesses. As part of its “Straight Talk” series, CUNA produces timely “Straight to the Point”
brochures--a series of reports that elaborate on key credit union issues. In its latest effort, CUNA highlights that credit unions “do things differently” by listening to Main Street while “others” listened to Wall Street. “Credit unions are locally based and since they serve their members rather than line the pockets of few, they do things differently,” the new publication boasts. It displays a chart showing that credit unions held onto to 75% of their mortgages while others bundled them into mortgage-backed securities. A second chart illustrates that National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund balances “haven’t faltered” and reminds that the NCUSIF “is not a burden to the American taxpayer. The two-pager notes that a current statutory cap on credit union member business lending is “arbitrary” and was set after close to 100 years of successful business lending by the credit union movement. Removal of the cap in these tough economic times, CUNA and credit unions suggest, would allow credit unions to do even more to help small business members struggling under difficult economic conditions. In fact, “Straight to the Point”
notes, a change in the statute could inject $10 billion into the economy the first year the arbitrary ceiling was removed. “This economic stimulus would not cost taxpayers a dime,” the brochure adds. “Let credit union serve their 90 million members.” CUNA has distributed this piece to a coalition of small business interests and will distribute it on Capitol Hill. It will also be available at the CUNA Governmental Affairs conference in Washington Feb. 22-28, and widely available for use by credit unions and the leagues for their Hike the Hill efforts.