BISMARCK, N.D. (5/2/13)--Credit unions' value as not-for-profit cooperatives in today's economy was the subject of Credit Union National Association Executive Vice President of Strategic Communications and Engagement Paul Gentile's recent appearance on the Legislature Today Radio Hour, sponsored by the Credit Union Association of the Dakotas.
"We serve Middle America, given that we have 40% of the population as members, but just 6% of the marketplace," Gentile told CUAD. "Credit unions have no outside shareholders to please with high profits."
Credit unions can play an important role in the economic recovery through small-business lending, he said, noting that credit union small-business loans average $217,000. "We do the true mom and pop loans that are so important to local communities, but banks don't want to touch," Gentile added.
The broadcast also featured Rep. Mark Owens (R-Grand Forks), a board member of First Liberty FCU, Great Falls, who noted the credit union's member business lending (MBL) for landscape trucks.
CUNA and credit unions are urging Congress to raise credit unions' MBL cap to 27.5% of assets, from the current 12.25% level. Doing so would generate $14.5 billion available for MBLs--and increase jobs by 158,000 in the first year without costing the taxpayer, according to CUNA statistics.
Gentile also spoke about aSmarterChoice as an outlet for consumers to find a credit union they can join. "Consumers can't join all credit unions, but there's certainly a credit union for everyone," he said.
Raising awareness about the value of credit unions is a key component of credit unions' Unite for Good campaign to achieve the strategic vision: "Americans choose credit unions as their best financial partner," CUNA says. For more information, use the link.
To listen to the CUAD Legislature Today Radio Hour, use the link.