TUKWILA, Wash.-Boeing Employees Credit Union is diving into the member business services arena. In less than a year, BECU President and CEO Gary Oakland said his credit union has developed a member business services arm that will launch early this spring. BECU plans to offer a full range of services including business savings, checking and lending. The $4.7 billion credit union has also applied to be a Small Business Administration lender, which it expects will be approved by the time the products are slated to be offered. “It’s always been one of the things that because of the aerospace industry and employee cycle, a number of our membership, as they leave the Boeing Company, go out and start their own businesses,” Oakland explained. He added that BECU had been tossing the idea around for a while, but with Y2K and a system conversion, which would provide the capabilities for a business program, this is the timing that came to be. Arnie Gunderson, BECU’s director of small business services, said that the credit union has put a limit of $1.25 million in loans to any one relationship. BECU primarily intends to target loans around $100,000, which the credit union feels has been underserved. Though the credit union has goals for its business loans and deposits, Gunderson was reluctant to share them at this time. He added that their survey work has shown that one-third of BECU’s membership are in a decision-making position at a small business.

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