NAFCU Urges Congress to Support Legislation to Allow Credit Unions to Help Small Business

Patty Briotta
PR Manager

WASHINGTON – The National Association of Federal Credit Unions (NAFCU) today told Congress that passage of H.R. 4191, The Credit Union Small Business Lending Act, is critical to improving the SBA application process so that credit unions can provide more small business loans that will spur further economic recovery.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and an important source of jobs for Americans,” said Robert Marquette, president and CEO of Members 1st Federal Credit Union, Mechanicsburg, Pa., and a NAFCU at-large director, before the House Small Business Committee Subcommittee on Investigations, Oversight and Regulations. “The SBA’s loan programs are an important resource that helps credit unions provide small businesses with the vital capital necessary for growth and job creation. However, the application process is unnecessarily time-consuming and burdensome – often giving larger lenders a competitive advantage.”

H.R. 4191, bipartisan legislation introduced by Reps. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.) and Steve Chabot (R-Ohio), would amend and simplify the Small Business Act to make it easier for credit unions to participate in the SBA small business loan programs.

Marquette also urged passage of H.R. 1418, which would raise the credit union member business lending (MBL) cap from 12.25 percent of assets to 27.5 percent of assets.

“Last year, Members 1st  FCU funded business loans that created 52 new jobs and helped save 269 more. Raising the cap would allow us to hire more employees, better meet the loan demand and be even more competitive with our loan rates,” said Marquette.

Marquette also told the Subcommittee that the average loan size for their MBL loans is $185,000, and that since the end of 2007, business loan applications have grown from $87 million to $259 million in 2011.”

“Allowing credit unions to do more to help small businesses is an important step toward helping our nation recover from the current economic downturn,” Marquette said. “On behalf of America’s credit unions, their 94 million members and small businesses, we urge Congress to act to pass both of these important job creating bills, H.R. 1418 and H.R. 4191.”

Established in 1950, Members 1st FCU has approximately 213,000 members, over 700 employees and more than $2 billion in assets.

The National Association of Federal Credit Unions is the only national organization that focuses exclusively on federal issues affecting credit unions, representing its members before the federal government and the public.

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