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News Now

Washington
Cheney MBL cap lift has greater benefits than loan fund
WASHINGTON (8/18/11)—Following the U.S. Treasury’s decision to provide $418 million in Small Business Lending Fund (SBLF) cash to community banks, Credit Union National Association (CUNA) President/CEO Bill Cheney noted that lifting the business lending cap is “a more effective way of helping the economy grow and creating jobs." The SBLF is the $30 billion fund authorized by the Small Business Jobs and Credit Act that provides low-cost capital to small and mid-sized banks as incentives to increase lending. The Treasury noted that the latest round of SBLF awards brings the total amount of funds given to community banks through the SBLF program to more than $1 billion. The Treasury added that additional SBLF funding announcements will be made in the near future. Lifting the MBL cap, which currently stands at 12.25% of total assets, to 27.5% of assets would inject more than $13 billion in new funds into the economy, creating up to 140,000 new jobs in the first year of the cap lift. “Unlike the taxpayer-funded SBLF, this wouldn’t cost taxpayers anything,” Cheney said. The case for MBLs was given a boost on Tuesday when Jeff Disterhoft, president/CEO of University of Iowa Community CU, Iowa City, Iowa, shared the potential benefits of an MBL cap lift with President Barack Obama during the White House Rural Economic Forum at Northeast Iowa Community College in Peosta, Iowa. (News Now, 8/17) Disterhoft told News Now the president appeared attentive to his concerns, adding that Obama said he would "go back to Washington and look further” into the issue. Disterhoft’s MBL exchange with President Obama also received coverage in The Wall Street Journal’s FINS Finance web site and the Iowa City Press Citizen. (See related story: WSJ Web page covers CU’s MBL pitch to Obama.) For the Treasury release, use the resource link.
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