Wisconsin Business Lending Seesaws Down at Banks
Keeping pace with a national trend, banks in Wisconsin experienced a 15% decrease in business lending in 2009 while the state's credit unions marked a 13% jump last year.
That's according to data from the Wisconsin Credit Union League, which reported that the average business loan at CUs statewide was around $170,000, "a pittance compared to the multi-million dollar loans banks typically seek." If the current 12.25% of asset member business lending cap were lifted, CUs could offer $362 million of new business credit and add 3,937 jobs in Wisconsin in the first year alone, said Brett Thompson, president/CEO of the league.
Credit unions' business loan loss rate today is one-ninth that seen by Wisconsin banks, Thompson said. The league cited data from the Wall Street Journal noting that the drop in business lending at banks nationwide is the largest seen since 1942. Banking groups continue to keep the pressure on to curb support to raise the MBL cap.
"Banks' opposition to this effort is an affront to the average person on Main Street who has already paid dearly for the sins of those on Wall Street," Thompson said. "Considering many credit unions' business borrowers were denied by banks, it's incredible that banks will stand in their way of receiving credit from a willing source-all to the detriment of job creation and our state economy as a whole."