Credit unions mean business

by: B. Dan Berger

Credit unions mean business — and the numbers prove it.  According to the National Credit Union Administration and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., federally insured credit unions (FICU) have outpaced banks in small-business loan growth over the past several years. Here’s what the numbers say:

2011: Small-business lending up 5.1 percent at FICUs, down 4.3 percent at banks.

2012: Up 6.5 percent at FICUs, down 1.5 percent at banks.

2013: Up 10.1 percent at FICUs, down 0.5 percent at banks.

2014: Up 12.4 percent at FICUs, up a modest 1.9 percent at banks.

Unfortunately, credit unions have been hampered from doing more business lending by an arbitrary lending cap that limits their business loans to 12.25 percent of assets.

Lawmakers and regulators have long recognized credit unions’ value to Main Street businesses, which help create jobs and boost our economy. In the past few weeks, credit unions have seen several new bills introduced in Congress that would help advance their ability to provide access to much-needed capital to small-business members:

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