WASHINGTON (1/13/11)--The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) is conducting a forum today to explore ways in which credit can be made more accessible to the small business sector. The session will bring together policymakers, regulators, small business owners, lenders and other stakeholders to identify key issues and focus on solutions, according to an agency announcement. The Credit Union National Association (CUNA), in its advocacy efforts in favor of increasing the credit union member business lending (MBL) cap to 27.5%, up from the current 12.25%, has noted to policymakers that such a change could infuse $10 billion of new credit into the nation’s small businesses. The benefits to the economy of the cap increase go even further than that infusion, CUNA underscores, and could add more than 100,000 jobs to a struggling jobs market. Both economic improvements would occur at no cost to the taxpayer. “Credit unions were not asked to be on the forum’s panels, but we will be reiterating to FDIC that given the lack of bank credit to small businesses, solutions should include the administration-supported MBL increase,” said John Magill, CUNA senior vice president of legislative affairs. The FDIC forum, which is open to the public and will be webcast live (see resource link), will kick off with remarks from Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.), who became chairman of the House Financial Services Committee in the new Congress. It will also feature a panel discussion lead by FDIC Chairman Sheila C. Bair, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke, Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), and Thomas D. Bell, Jr., chairman of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. A second panel will present additional government and private sector leaders whose focus will be to identify issues that are constraining the availability of credit to small businesses and “articulate ideas for overcoming these obstacles.” Administrator Karen Mills, of the Small Business Administration, is scheduled to provide remarks at the conclusion of the forum.