MIRAMAR, Fla. -- Eastern Financial Florida Credit Union recently announced it has funded more than $200 million in business loans since launching its commercial lending program three years ago. The $2.3 billion CU announced March 30 it has funded more than $200 million in business loans. Eastern Financial Florida CU's commercial underwriting and business loan servicing is offered through its subsidiary, CU Business Capital LLC. "We were one of the first credit unions in Florida to offer business loans," said Gary Lanier, senior vice president. "Since we launched three years ago our goal was to be right around $200 million and we have hit that target." Lanier said the CU has made loans for small retail business franchises to larger income generating properties "and everything in between." Business deposits grew roughly 50% from 2005 to 2006 to $20 million, he added.
Formed in 2005, CU Business Capital now serves 22 CUs nationwide, with plans to add an additional 20 new clients before the end of 2007, the CUSO said.
Bert Bryan, president of CU Business Capital, said commercial lending among the nation's credit unions is growing about 25-30% a year nationally.
"We're just seeing the tip of the iceberg," Bryan said. "There's more and more member demand for these kinds of loans, but many credit unions aren't set up for it or don't have the expertise. CU Business Capital was created to support those institutions and get them started so they can meet their members' needs."