Philly CUSO Reaches $100 Million
W ith a 56% expansion in its business-lending portfolio last year, American Heritage Federal Credit Union is proving that growth is possible despite the odds.
The $1.1 billion financial institution in Philadelphia has amassed $66 million as of December 2011 with the majority of business loan applications approved for nonowner occupied real estate.
Graves said the CUSO’s credit union owners approve loans for a variety of purposes, including commercial lines of credit to financing the purchase of investment real estate. Refinancing debt with commercial banks that no longer service the business owners are also growing transactions for credit unions, he added.
“Since the word has gotten out that credit unions are handling business lending, many businesses and existing members have turned to [them] as their prior banks stopped servicing their needs or have even requested them to move their relationships," Graves said.
“Our biggest challenge is keeping up with the onslaught of government regulations,” Balestrini said. “We feel that seasoned lending institutions with strong historical track records should be given latitude to manage their lending portfolio's caps internally, not by a government agency.”
Graves’ goals for MBFS are ambitious, yet likely attainable. The CUSO has set targets of adding two new owners and growing to $160 million in loan servicing in 2012. Like Foulke, he agrees that there are still walls to break down.