MIDDLETOWN, Pa. — Three more credit unions have joined CU BizSource, LLC's "certified" institutions, bringing the number of credit unions and CUSOs with the designation to nearly 30.

The $1 billion Arizona State CU, $206 million America's Christian CU and $32 million Sierra Point CU are the latest partnerships. Sierra Point also utilizes the services of Business Partners, LLC.

Certification is granted in recognition of compliance with underwriting, analysis, documentation and monitoring standards of member business loans created by the originators in the movement, according to CU Biz Source. Once achieved, certification provides the necessary level of due diligence to sell loan participations to CUNA Mutual Group's Credit Union System Fund and other buyers. This provides certified entities with access to liquidity and portfolio risk management tools. The CU System Fund has grown to $65 million since its inception in 2005 and should exceed $100 million in 2007, according to CU Biz Source. The fund is comprised of various sizes and types of loans from around the country. "The program is designed for those who have been delivering member business services for at least five years and who have had positive loan reviews by the NCUA, state regulators and other third parties", said Mark Taber, president/CEO of CU Biz Source. "That takes a seasoned team of lenders, underwriters and operational staff to achieve as well as having in place stringent controls through polices and procedures."

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