SALT LAKE CITY and HONOLULU — Looking to tap a state poised for more lending growth, Member Business Lending, LLC has opened a regional operations office in Honolulu.

The new Hawaii office will serve as the base for a growing number of credit unions seeking MBL affiliation in this high-potential region for member business lending, according to the CUSO. Baron S. Nakamura, who will oversee the office, previously held senior positions with Pearl Harbor Federal Credit Union, University of Hawaii Federal Credit Union and, most recently, Honolulu Federal Credit Union.

“The opening of this new regional office is an important milestone in MBL’s plan to quickly expand into markets throughout the U.S., and thereby expand opportunities for the nation’s underserved small businesses,” said Kent Moon, president/CEO of MBL. “Based on highly successful results in our initial markets, we anticipate rapid expansion into other areas, beginning with this move into Hawaii.”

Nakamura agreed, saying the Hawaii market is more than ready for active member business lending. Of the 96 CUs in

Hawaii, fewer than 10 currently offer business services, according to MBL.

“The credit union market in Hawaii is ripe for the type of value MBL can provide in member business lending services; it’s a great fit,” said Nakamura. “I’m excited to be a part of such a quality company helping credit unions succeed in business services while meeting their members’ growing business needs. Those credit unions that join early will be much further ahead as the market gains momentum.”

Founded in 2004, MBL is the nation’s largest Small Business Administration credit union lender, originating 40% of all credit union-based SBA 7(a) loans in the U.S, according to the CUSO.