Aug. 2, 2012 – NAFCU President and CEO Fred Becker responded to a recent "BankThink" article by a banking trade CEO by reminding that credit unions’ bid for greater member business lending authority is less about bank profits and more about helping to grow jobs.
Cam Fine, president and CEO of the Independent Community Bankers of America, penned a recent column in the American Banker’s "BankThink" section that says credit unions don’t need more MBL authority. The column included the banking industry refrain about “unfair” competition and tax treatment.
Becker responded in the same space Tuesday, noting that bankers should not be fighting greater MBL authority for credit unions; they should support it as they might wish to support “any and all legislation that promotes job growth and helps our country find solid economic footing.”
The NAFCU president said the ICBA and is members “have proven, yet again, that their self-protective interests supplant those of the nation, while small businesses and the unemployed pay dearly.”
Becker noted that credit unions were involved in business lending as early as 1934, had no MBL cap until 1998 and, according to later studies by Treasury, the Government Accountability Office and Small Business Administration showing that credit unions’ MBL activity isn’t a threat to banks and fills a need left unmet when banks tighten credit. Meanwhile, more than one federal funding effort to promote small-business lending by banks has yet to yield real results.
“The Small Business Lending Enhancement Act is a bipartisan, common-sense approach, endorsed by the Treasury Department and the National Credit Union Administration,” Becker wrote. “It would allow credit unions to help America's small businesses and our country's economy without costing taxpayers a dime. And the reality is, whether lifting the cap creates one job or 1,000, it would be a success.”