MADISON, Wis. (8/18/11)--Four credit unions were featured in the various media with their ideas about how to expand member business lending (MBL) portfolios. Credit unions featured included:
* Nutmeg FCU in Rocky Hill, Conn., which plans to begin commercial lending and lifestyle loans this fall to bolster weak loan demand among members (Hartfordbusiness.com Aug. 15). With 27,000 members and $333 million in assets, Nutmeg has the capital, size and scope to get into commercial lending, John Holt, president/CEO, told the publication. While some credit unions try to offer better interest rates on loans, Nutmeg is looking to broaden its loan offerings. In September, Nutmeg plans to introduce a new lifestyle loan product, which will provide financing for service such as plastic surgery, expensive dental work and Lasik eye surgery, with more competitive pricing than typical personal loans. Nutmeg also is aggressively offering loan and deposit products for businesses. To read the article, use the link. * Redwood CU, a $1.73 billion asset credit union based in Santa Rosa, Calif., which began offering MBLs because a third of its members were involved in some type of business activity and were looking to the credit union to offer business services, said Brett Martinez, Redwood president/CEO (posterous.com March 25). The credit union’s direct business loans portfolio totals more than $100 million. Redwood does direct operating lending that includes commercial transactions, working capital, purchasing equipment and owner-user real estate, Martinez told the publication. To read the article, use the link. * The $349 million asset, Birmingham, Ala.-based Legacy Community FCU, which saw a significant surge in loan requests from small businesses during the past two years (Birmingham Business Journal Online Aug. 12) . This is in part due to heightened awareness of Legacy in the community and also because many banks have withdrawn their credit availability, Glenn Bryan, Legacy senior vice president, told the Journal. * Mutual Savings CU, based in Hoover, Ala., with $173 million in assets, is positioning itself to partner with quality businesses to offer opportunities to the businesses and the credit union, said Doug Key, Mutual Savings CEO (Birmingham Business Journal Online Aug. 12). Instead of targeting a specific business size with a minimum revenue requirement, the credit union looks at the overall situation of the business and determines if it can help.
The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and credit unions are pressing Congress to increase credit unions’ MBL cap to 27.5% of assets from 12.25%. Doing so would open up more opportunity to offer MBLs, inject $13 billion in loans into the economy and create as many as 140,000 new jobs, with no cost to taxpayers, CUNA said.