NAFCU again offers to aid SBA in face of potential criticism
WASHINGTON-After thanking Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Hector Barreto for scheduling a meeting with corporate credit unions during NAFCU's Congressional Caucus, NAFCU also reassured the agency that its member credit unions supported expanded authority in the 7(a) lending program. The letter came after an article in American Banker reported that the SBA could be facing greater criticism if it broadened credit unions' participation in government-backed business lending, in addition to its recent announcement to cut the limit of government backing in the 7(a) program from $2 million to just $500,000. The Bush administration has proposed an approximately 50% cut to the program's funds and announced goals to grant more, smaller loans. Corporate credit unions have been very interested in what they can do to facilitate the use of SBA funds by credit unions. "I want to give you NAFCU's assurance, and that of the credit unions we represent, to work constructively with you and your staff to extend the reach of the SBA's 7(a) program in the months and years ahead, so that the greatest number of qualified borrowers may enjoy the benefits of that important program," NAFCU President and CEO Fred Becker wrote.