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CU small business work gets positive reviews
WASHINGTON (6/14/11)--Ahead of a Thursday Senate Banking Committee hearing on lifting the credit union member business lending cap, credit unions, and their work with small businesses, are receiving positive buzz in the blogosphere. A small business blog sponsored by financial software firm Intuit last week noted that while “banks are holding on tight to their cash” and “making fewer loans,” credit unions “are becoming more obliging to small businesses” and increasing their small business lending. In the blog post, Henry Kertman of the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues pointed out that the average credit union business loan is approximately $220,000. “And when a credit union lends to one of its business-owning members, that money stays in the community the credit union serves, and helps employ area residents,” he added. David Donovan, vice president of commercial services at USC CU in Los Angeles, Calif., emphasized credit unions’ exemplary service: “We don’t look at you in terms of the size of your loan, we look at you as a member,” he said. Credit unions would do even more to work with their small business-owning members if the MBL cap, which stands at 12.25% of total assets, is lifted to 27.5% of assets. Legislation that would lift the cap is the centerpiece of Thursday’s hearing, and blogger Eli Lehrer wrote on FrumForum.com that Sen. Mark Udall’s S. 509 “offers policies that should warm every free-marketer’s heart. “By sweeping aside some dated regulations, it will free up much-needed business credit and create thousands of jobs without costing the United States Treasury a dime,” Lehrer added. The MBL hearing is not the only credit union-related action on Capitol Hill this week. A House Energy and Commerce subcommittee will study consumer data protections during another Wednesday hearing. Consumer data breaches were a top legislative priority before the economic crisis, and recent breaches that affected Sony Playstation Network users and Michael’s Stores shoppers have helped to bring renewed attention to the issue. Also on Wednesday financial industry safety and soundness enhancements will be discussed during a Senate Banking Committee financial institutions subcommittee hearing. The House Appropriations Committee’s subcommittee on financial institutions will markup the fiscal year 2012 appropriations bills for agencies under its jurisdiction on Thursday, and the House Small Business Committee economic growth subcommittee will examine the Dodd-Frank Act’s impact on small business lending that same day. The Senate Small Business Committee will also examine ways to address fraud and inefficiency in various U.S. Small Business Administration programs during a Thursday hearing. To read the pro-MBL blog posts, and more on Thursday’s MBL hearing, use the resource links.
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