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News Now

CU System
Missouri CUs to Congress We stand ready to help small biz
ST. LOUIS (9/15/11)--After a summer of meetings with federal lawmakers around the state, the Missouri Credit Union Association (MCUA) hand delivered to the Missouri delegation on Capitol Hill letters that pointed out banker hypocrisy and highlighted a recent Forbes editorial in favor of member business lending (MBL) legislation. The Forbes editorial endorses credit unions' efforts to raise their MBL cap to 27.5% of assets from 12.25% and explains how banks are standing in the way of giving entrepreneurs choices in financing their businesses. At the same time, Missouri banks are receiving millions of taxpayer dollars to encourage small business lending, said MCUA (The Missouri difference Sept. 13). During the last week of August, four Missouri banks received $117.1 million out of the $767 million disbursed from the U.S. Treasury Department. This includes $57.9 million for Great Southern Bancorp Inc., Springfield; $23 million for Liberty Bancshares Inc., Springfield; $20 million for The Landrum Co., Columbia; and $16.2 million for Liberty Bancorp Inc., Liberty. The funds are from the $30 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program II earmarked in Congress in 2010 to spur lending to small businesses. "In contrast, Missouri credit unions stand ready to use their own money to do the same thing," pointed out MCUA President/CEO Mike Beall. Beall's letter urges Missouri's members of Congress to support S. 509 and H.R. 1408--the Small Business Lending Enhancement Act, which would raise the cap to 27.5%. "Please help us provide stimulus with private sector funding by empowering credit unions to make more MBLs," Beall said. Missouri credit unions continue to met with the entire Missouri federal delegation to surge support for raising the cap. The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) continues to advocate lifting the MBL cap, most recently as a small provision that could be added to President Barack Obama's larger plan to reinvigorate the ailing economy via the American Jobs Act (News Now Sept. 14). CUNA says that lifting the cap will enable credit unions to inject $13 billion in loans to small businesses, helping generate as much as 140,000 new jobs the first year, without cost to the taxpayer. CUNA-sponsored ads touting the economic promise and bipartisan appeal of lifting the MBL cap will begin running next week in Capitol Hill newspapers and the Washington , D.C., regional edition of The Wall Street Journal. They will run into October. Also, credit union delegations and their leagues will be in Washington the next six or seven weeks for "Hike the Hill" visits to discuss the measures with their lawmakers.


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