WASHINGTON (12/4/09)--Credit unions are stepping up their lending through credit card programs because banks continue to ease back, according to a recent webinar. Credit unions’ credit card loans were at $33.8 billion and unused credit card lines were $74.4 billion. Banks’ credit lines fell by $1 trillion over the past year, according to third quarter data from a Callahan and Associates webinar, “Trendwatch 3Q 2009.” The webinar noted a Maryland-based credit union that offered a no-fee credit card with a 7.5% interest rate. The card triggered threefold growth of the credit union’s card program in new accounts and outstanding balances. A recurring theme at the webinar was the financial resilience and stability of the credit union system during the nation’s financial crisis. Credit unions have benefited from consumers’ confidence in them and are growing. Liquidity was up by $60 billion last year, and all share categories posted higher growth this year, Callahan said. Callahan and Associates is a Washington, D.C.-based firm that provides research on credit union issues.