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Turned away by bank small biz owner gets help from CU
MADISON, Wis. (4/21/10)--Melissa Destree needed a line of credit for her Madison, Wis.-based architectural firm last year, but when she went to her longtime bank, a banker told her to lay off an employee rather than give her more credit. Destree, owner of Destree Design Architects, said she had gone through cost-cutting and did not want to fire anyone because her six-person staff was crucial to business. So Destree went to Summit CU, Madison, Wis., for help (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel April 17). Within five days, Summit gave her a loan at a lower interest rate than the bank to pay off her debt to the bank, and a $50,000 line of credit. Brett Thompson, CEO of the Wisconsin Credit Union League, told the newspaper that credit unions are ready to “pick up the slack from banks that have financial troubles or are nervous about lending in the current economic environment.” Credit unions are lobbying to increase their member business lending caps to 25% of total assets from 12.25%, but bankers have argued that the higher cap would give credit unions an unfair advantage. Thompson told the newspaper there is “no logical reason” why the caps should not be raised. Credit unions have the willingness, market and desire to make business loans, he said. The Credit Union National Association estimates that lifting the cap would generate $362 million in new credit union business loans in Wisconsin and $10 billion nationally in the first year.


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