WASHINGTON – Credit unions are increasingly building member business lending programs and reaching out to provide business services to the small business market, but the latest Trendwatch data from Callahan & Associates shows there’s still plenty of room for more credit unions to get involved. Credit unions member business loans in 2002 topped $7.4 billion, which was more than a 57% increase since 2000, according to Callahan & Associates. But while member business loans are growing and credit unions are more likely to offer MBLs than before, these loans still only accounted for 2.1% of credit unions’ outstanding loans at yearend 2002. “This indicates this is a good area for expansion in the industry,” said Jay Johnson, executive vice president of Callahan. Over 1,600 credit unions now offer MBLs, and not surprisingly because of the infrastructure that’s needed to support member business lending services, the larger credit unions are more likely to offer MBLs than smaller CUs. Callahan & Associates data shows that over half of credit unions with more than $100 million in assets offer MBLs. By the end of 2002, these credit unions held over $6.3 billion in MBLs, representing 85% of the credit union industry’s total outstanding loans. The next largest group of credit unions – those with $50-$100 million in assets – only had about $500 million in MBLs last year. The numbers continue to shrink with decreasing asset sizes. [email protected]

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