MBL Category One to Watch
With the drop in member business lending in 2009, it may be a sign of the times, but the loans were still the fastest growing lending group for credit unions last year.
The MBL growth rate was 11% in 2009, according to CUNA statistics as of September 2009, the latest data on record. That contrasts with 2008's rate of 18%, and 17% in 2007. Put in perspective, last year's rate of 11% is off considerably from the MBL growth rate in 2006 at 24.3% and 32.8% in 2005.
CUNA Chief Economist Bill Hampel said despite the drop, credit unions are in a much better business lending position than other financial institutions, which experienced a 15% decline. Still, MBLs were down as a result of the recession and unless legislators move to increase the current 12.25% cap, the pace of growth may not be sustained, he added.
Meanwhile, CUNA continues to urge legislators to put the MBL cap issue on the forefront as the push for job creation becomes stronger, according to John Magill, senior vice president of legislative affairs for the trade group. NAFCU has also been just as vocal about raising the lending threshold.