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Minn. CUs talk interchange MBL with new congressman
CAMBRIDGE, Minn. (3/1/11)--Minnesota credit unions met with the state’s newest congressman to discuss interchange and member business lending (MBL) during a meet-and-greet with U.S. Rep. Chip Cravaack (R-8) on Friday at Minnco CU in Cambridge. Twenty-five professionals and volunteers from six credit unions attended the introductory meeting to discuss the current issues important to the movement.
Click to view larger image Welcoming the state’s newest congressman, Minnesota credit unions held a meet-and-greet with U.S. Rep. Chip Cravaack (R-8) (left) on Friday to discuss interchange, member business lending, and other credit union issues. (Photo provided by the Minnesota Credit Union Network)
Credit unions focused their discussion with Cravaack on the impact that interchange and MBL have on Minnesota consumers. Attendees stressed the inadequacy of the Federal Reserve Board’s proposed interchange rates and the effect a reduction in rates would have on credit unions’ ability to offer economical checking products. Cravaack recognized credit unions’ concerns and encouraged them to continuing working with elected officials on the issue. On the topic of MBL, credit unions shared how increasing the MBL cap would positively impact small businesses. Citing statistics compiled by the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), credit unions stated that an MBL increase would generate an additional $47 million in small business loans and more than 500 jobs in the eighth congressional district. Cravaack acknowledged the importance of small businesses in the district and stated that he is interested in looking at any avenue to strengthen them. “The Minnesota Credit Union Network (MnCUN) recognizes the importance of working together with the members of the state’s congressional delegation,” said Mara Humphrey, MnCUN vice president-governmental affairs. “Our meeting with Rep. Cravaack enabled us to establish an open line of communication with the state’s newest representative, and we look forward to working with him on issues in the future.” This week Minnesota credit unions will further develop their relationship with Rep. Cravaack during a hill visit scheduled as part of CUNA’s Governmental Affairs Conference. Minnesota credit union professionals and volunteers attending the conference will also visit the other members of Minnesota’s congressional delegation. CUNA and credit unions are trying to get 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 $10 billion in loans into the economy and create as many as 100,000 new jobs, with no cost to taxpayers, CUNA said.


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