Thu March 17, 2011

Udall Amendment Would Increase Credit Union Lending

Democratic Senator Mark Udall introduced an amendment today that he says could create as many as 100,000 jobs. The goal is to increase how much credit unions can lend in Colorado—and nationwide.

Right now credit unions can only lend about 12 percent of their total assets. But Senator Udall thinks that number should be just above 27 percent. That’s because small businesses have struggled in recent years to gain access to capital despite a $30 billion dollar infusion of cash from the federal government to banks to help increase loans.

“Banks are still not meeting the demand for small business loans,” said Sen Udall during a floor speech on Thursday. “So in light of this I’m still committed to taking the common sense step of allowing credit unions to increase the amount of money they can lend to small businesses.”

The Credit Union National Association says the amendment could increase lending by as much as $10 billion in its first year. But while credit unions like the idea, the banking industry is largely opposed to the concept. The amendment is part of so-called Small Business Innovation Research and Technology Transfer Reauthorization Act.

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