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Wis voter poll 80 support raising MBL cap
PEWAUKEE, Wis. (11/28/12)--Eighty percent of Wisconsin voters polled support raising credit unions' member business lending (MBL) cap, according to the Wisconsin Credit Union League, which conducted the poll.

"A whopping 80%" say they support The Credit Union Small Business Jobs Bill, legislation in Congress that would add $ 408 million of new credit for Wisconsin businesses through credit unions, the league said. The bill would add $13 billion in new small business loans throughout the nation, said the Credit Union National Association (CUNA).

The legislation, H.R. 1418/S. 2231, is expected to come up for a vote by the U.S. Senate during the Lame Duck session of Congress. The session ends on Dec. 21, said CUNA.

The bill proposes to raise the arbitrary MBL cap to 27.5% of total assets, up from the current 12.25%.

The league listed these reasons that the bill has gained steam:

  • Small businesses say there's a credit cap. Research indicates 90% of small firms surveyed agree. A 2011 Pepperdine University study indicated banks deny 60% of loan applications.
  • Credit unions have done all they can.  Since the recession began in 2007, Wisconsin banks decreased their business lending by 2% while credit unions in the state grew their MBLs by 55% to compensate.
  • Credit unions' hands are tied from offering additional help. Nearly all credit unions either deny loans because of the cap or can't offer any because the cap prevents cost recovery.
  • The legislation would add jobs--Nearly 5,000 jobs in Wisconsin the first year, said the league. CUNA said raising the MBL cap would add nearly 140,000 across the nation.
  • Raising the cap helps Main Street. Half of credit union MBLs help families with incomes under $50,000.
  • It costs the taxpayers nothing. U.S. Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colorado), the bill's lead author, as well as Forbes, have called raising the cap a "no brainer."
  • Federal regulators support it. Credit unions have made safe and sound business loans. In Wisconsin, credit unions have had a lower rate of business loan delinquency and losses than banks for more than a decade and have made those loans safely for 100 years, said the league.
  • A bipartisan coalition of more than 30 organizations supports it. The coalition represents small businesses, the self-employed and the insurance, textile, realty, construction, automotive and technology industries.
  • It won't hurt banks. Banks hold 95% of U.S. business loans, said the league. Raising the MBL cap for credit unions won't dent banks' market share. Almost half of banks support the legislation, said the league.


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