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CU System
Michigan Texas CUs argue MBL case in media
MADISON, Wis. (4/17/12)--Credit unions in Michigan and Texas are making a case in the media for increased member business lending (MBL).

The Texas Credit Union League told the story of the Frescas family who sought to open a daycare center and was turned down by 15 banks in El Paso, Texas. Also, when looking to open a bagel shop, Suzanne and John Hermann were turned down by six banks in San Antonio. And Mike McLean, who was a commercial customer at a bank for 15 years, was denied a loan when he looked to expand his successful business, the league said (PR Newswire April 13).

However, because all three entrepreneurs belonged to credit unions, they obtained MBLs for their projects. These small business owners are joining other small business owners in asking U.S senators to vote on raising the MBL cap for credit unions, the league said.

The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and credit unions are urging 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.

The U.S. Senate is expected to consider the matter soon.

Credit unions in Houston say raising the MBL cap would equate to $152.6 million in new loans in the first year (Houston Business Journal April 13).

In Michigan, bankers have shown during the most recent economic recession that they have not been able to come through for consumers when times became tough, Dave Adams, president/CEO of the Michigan Credit Union League, told The Flint Journal (via mlive.com April 15).

Therefore, "it makes no sense" for lawmakers to restrict credit unions that are willing and able to provide small businesses with much-needed capital, he added.

Michigan credit unions saw a 14% rise in MBL last year, compared with 5% growth nationwide, the Journal said.

To read the article, use the link.
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