Business Lending Gains May Come From Fresh Capital Seekers
While the degree of optimism varies, a sampling of perspectives from business lending CUSOs suggests an economic upturn may be underway.
One sign of how widespread member business lending has become can be seen from figures provided by the Regional CUSO Alliance, which is a collaboration of business lending CUSOs. The group represents 16 regional business lending CUSOs involving 330 credit unions and an aggregate loan portfolio of $2.5 billion.Perhaps the most bullish outlook comes from Community Business Lenders in Des Moines, Iowa. Open to all Iowa credit unions, the CUSO is owned by the Iowa Credit Union League and the $335 million Community Choice Credit Union in Johnston and $139 million Members 1st Community Credit Union in Marshalltown.
He certainly thinks a CUSO can help credit unions deal with member business lending by offering expertise an individual credit union might not be able to afford. Before going in, credit unions should look at the surrounding community and membership to determine what is actually needed in the market. Regulatory requirements should also be examined.
Having the resources to appropriately service business loans as well as hiring experienced, knowledgeable professionals are also critical starting points, Kilian said. Relationships with business lending CUSOs, attorneys and accountants can prove valuable, he added.
The Cypress Group, a business lending CUSO in Orlando, serves one of those sand states Slater referred to so President Kevin Dion is somewhat cautious.
The years 2010 and 2011 were pretty sluggish, he recalled. Dion said there are two aspects to business lending – origination, with a sales force soliciting deals, then the ability to get applications through the system.