MADISON, Wis. -- Member business lending continues to be a potential source of revenue for credit unions, with business loans growing 18.6% since June 2006, according to the 2007 CUNA Member Business Services Survey.
The top three reasons credit unions gave for starting their business lending programs were to offer more services to members (57%), an interest from members (54%) and to grow the loan portfolio (slightly less than 48%), the survey showed.
Still, business lending might not be the right move for every credit union. At 35%, the majority of survey respondents suggested moving slowly before starting a business lending program, according to the survey. Twenty-nine percent said hire qualified staff followed by the suggestion of joining or partnering with a CUSO at 15%.