Thursday, July 14, 2011 11:39:00 AM
WASHINGTON - In an appearance on FOX Business Channel Tuesday, CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney noted for a national audience that credit unions "are ready to do more" to help the economy by lending to small businesses. However, they need Congress to act by increasing the member business lending (MBL) cap to make more capital available to the nation's small businesses.
Cheney touted the benefits of MBL reform during his interview, noting that increasing the current cap to 27.5% could inject over $13 billion in funds into the economy, creating over 140,000 new jobs. Legislation that would increase the cap is pending in both houses of Congress and has been endorsed by the Obama administration, the CUNA CEO pointed out.
"We know we need jobs to stimulate the economy, and we have no cost stimulus that can go out and help small businesses," Cheney said.
The nearly 300 credit unions that are near the 12.25% of assets cap account for 51% of the total small business lending done by credit unions, he noted. Cheney added that credit unions have increased their small business lending by 38% since December of 2007, while bank small business lending has declined by 5% since then.
FOX Business anchor Charles Payne, while interviewing Cheney, said that opposing an MBL cap lift while small businesses are "drowning" is "beyond the pale" and asked who would oppose such a plan. Cheney said that bankers are the only group against it.
A video of the interview is available at http://www.cuna.org/newsnow/11/wash071311-2.html.