WASHINGTON (12/11/08)—In a follow up to an oversight hearing on the U.S. Treasury Department’s implementation of the Troubled Asset Recovery Program (TARP) Wednesday, the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) reminded federal lawmakers that the country’s credit unions continue to lend despite the country’s credit crunch. In a letter, CUNA noted that during the House Financial Services Committee hearing on TARP, several committee members remarked repeatedly that small business owners, homebuyers and other consumers were having difficulty in securing credit because banks, including several recipients of TARP funds, were not making loans. “I want to assure you that credit unions continue to lend, even in these difficult times. Total lending by credit unions continued to rise through October, the latest date on which we have available data,” wrote CUNA President/CEO Dan Mica. He noted that credit union loans outstanding increased 0.5% from September 2008 to October 2008, and 6.6% over the first 10 months of 2008, compared to increases of 0.7% and 5.6% during the same periods last year. “Moreover, through September, the fastest growing type of credit union lending was business lending,” he added. Mica told the lawmakers that the current statutory limit on credit union member business lending, essentially 12.25% of total assets, is far beneath the level of business lending that a healthy credit union could extend in a safe and sound manner. “We encourage Congress to remove the statutory cap on credit union business lending as a mechanism to ensure that your small business owning constituents can continue to access the credit that they need to operate their businesses,” Mica said.