COLUMBUS (5/4/15)--Credit unions are ready to snare a bigger piece of the business lending market--if lawmakers will provide them with the authority to serve more members, CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle told the Columbus First Business Journal.
Many credit unions are rapidly approaching the lending cap of 12.25% of assets, while others choose not to engage in business lending within their communities because of the cap, said Nussle, who spoke with Columbus Business First Journal while he was in town for the Ohio Credit Union League’s (OCUL) annual conference.
CUNA’s research suggests that expanding the cap to 27.5% of assets could result in an additional $16 billion to small businesses in the first year, helping to create more than 150,000 new jobs.
“We have members that need services and banks are not out there, not lending,” Nussle told the Columbus Business First Journal. “If politicians want the economy to grow, they need to allow everybody access to that marketplace.”
OCUL President/CEO Paul Mercer said that credit unions in Ohio are “stepping up and meeting market needs--they’re (making) truly small-business loans.”
Nussle said most credit unions are well-capitalized, despite a trend toward mergers. Much of the consolidation is driven by regulatory concerns, he said. “Oftentimes a merger is good news, but I hate to see so much consolidation based on inability to meet costs,” Nussle told Columbus Business First. “We’re always cohttps://admin-creditunionmagazine.epublishing.com/admin/article/general/load?articleId=105762#ncerned about regulations.”
Ohio had 325 credit unions when 2014 ended, 13 fewer than at the start of the year. The contraction was due in part to what Nussle and Mercer argue are the high cost of compliance created by regulation enacted following the U.S. financial crisis.