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SACRAMENTO, Calif.-SAFE Credit Union President and CEO Henry Wirz wrote a letter to the editor countering an editorial that appeared in the Sacramento Business Journal which did not cast the Credit Union Regulatory Improvements Act in a positive light. Wirz’ letter, published in the July 1 edition, took issue with an editorial entitled `Credit Creep’ that appeared in the May 27 issue and took credit union business lending to task. “I would say that most business owners would disagree with your opinion,” he wrote. “Allowing credit unions to make more business loans is good for all businesses. It offers more choices in the marketplace. Credit unions offer competitive rates.” Wirz continued, “More choice means lower loan rates, better deposit rates and lower fees for all businesses in the community. Does the Business Journal oppose helping businesses in the community lower their costs?” He pointed out that the Small Business Administration has opened its arms, and government guarantee, to credit unions. “The Small Business Administration clearly sees a need for more lenders in the marketplace. The SBA has actively encouraged credit unions to become SBA lending partners. SBA research has shown that bank consolidation has hurt small-business access to credit, and that small businesses receive less credit on average in regions with a large share of deposits held by the biggest banks.” Wirz cited the Treasury study that found credit union business loans are safer than those made by banks and thrifts. He added, “Credit unions have a clear mission to improve the financial well-being of their members. The Business Journal misses the point by postulating that any expansion of credit union business lending will harm banks. The real issue is that giving businesses more choices is better for all businesses.” Wirz said nonprofit institutions are “necessary and beneficial.” He concluded, “Credit unions raise the standard of living of everyone in the community. The choices they provide assure lower costs and better service for everyone. “If that’s unfair to banks, as the Business Journal editorial states, then I’ll live with that as a small price to pay for a better community.”

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