MADISON, Wis. (8/9/10)--The credit union difference received the spotlight in a number of articles last week in various media, with several pointing out the growth opportunities in member business lending. "Credit unions emphasize their essential differences," an article in the Ocala (Fla.) Business Journal
(July 30), featured the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and the League of Southeastern Credit Unions (LSCU) discussing the reasons why credit unions "seem to toe the financial line better than banks," why credit unions are growing, and why credit unions need their member business lending cap lifted to 27% from the current 12.25% of assets. "The whole impetus for financial reform was to nail the bad actors in the financial business. Credit unions are not perceived as bad actors by the Congress," Pat Keefe, CUNA vice president of communications and media outreach, said in the article. Lifting the cap would be a "great opportunity. There's a lot of capital to lend and it would help small businesses immediately," said Patrick La Pine, president/CEO of LSCU, which serves Florida and Alabama credit unions. Philip Geist, Ocala rea director for the Small Business Development Center at the University of North Florida, told the publication that local credit unions are a good option for business loans. "That's an outstanding alternative lending source for small businesses," he said. Other articles:
* Investment Weekly News (Aug. 7) and other publications picked up the CO-OP Financial Services' press release on the top 10 reasons to choose credit unions over banks. Among the reasons: customer satisfaction with credit unions have consistently rated higher than for big banks for more than 20 years. * Richmond (Va.) BizSense.com (Aug. 5) reported that regulators approved the expansion of Richmond-based Call FCU to a community charter and discussed the complaints banks have about growing credit unions. According to CEO Roger Ball, "there is a niche for all of us. There's room for all of us to have a very successful business plan." He notes that with credit unions' tax exemption comes certain limitations." * An Annapolis, Md.-based editorial in The Nonprofit Quarterly (Aug. 2) discussed the benefits of competition from credit unions, likening credit unions to George Bailey's savings and loan (S&L) in the fictitious town of Bedford Falls. It says banks complain about credit unions' "unfair advantage" but counters, "We don't know of too many credit unions that have been major competition for the Bank of America or Wells Fargo." It also notes that "the feeling of ownership is why the citizens of Bedford Falls stopped the run on the Bailey S&L in 'It's a Wonderful Life,' and why people belong to nonprofit credit unions." * A blog in articlealley.com (Aug. 5) by Walid Petiri, an investment advisor with Financial Management Strategies, outlines a number of questions to ask a bank to get "The Best Bank for Your Buck." Many of the questions are areas in which credit unions stand out. He includes this disclaimer: "Although I am using the word 'bank,' do not forget to consider credit unions as a strong viable option for your needs as they also provide many strong products along with fine service." * Some articles are positive for credit unions because they show off the good works of credit unions in action. For example, the July 29th issue of Goochland Gazette, a weekly in the Richmond, Va., area, featured the financial education efforts of Virginia CU, which sponsored a Teen Summer Money Camp, a five-day program to introduce area students to money management basics, in the Richmond area.
To access the articles, use the resource links.