CUs Seek Extension

Of SBA Loan Programs

WASHINGTON-A top credit union business lender urged Congress last Thursday to extend two fledgling Small Business Administration programs that have provided billions of dollars in capital to community borrowers and are scheduled to expire in September.

"It is important that Congress reauthorize the SBA 504 refinance loan program and the SBA 504 First Mortgage Lien Pool program" Brett Martinez, president of Redwood CU, the leading credit union SBA lender, told a panel of the House Small Business Committee, of the two programs created in the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and scheduled to end in September.

"Allowing refinancing under the SBA 504 (refinance) loan program should be extended and consideration should be given to making them permanent," said the credit union exec, who is representing CUNA at this morning's hearing. "In some instances, it is the only vehicle by which a business owner with a maturing commercial real estate loan may be able to deal with a declining real estate market and stay in their building, thereby preserving jobs rather than losing the building, having to move, and likely shuttering a business."

Redwood, a $2 billion credit union in suburban San Francisco, is the largest credit union SBA lender in the country, with $190 million in outstanding member business loans and $68 million in SBA loans, including $37 million in 7(a) loans and $31 million in 504 loans.

Under the 504 Refinance Loan program, borrowers can finance up to 90% of the appraised value of available collateral. Martinez said his credit union has used the program to help many members refinance their existing properties. "This is an example of the right product at the right time providing business owners what they need exactly when they need it the most," he told lawmakers.

The SBA's First Mortgage Lien Pool program provides a government guarantee on pools of portions of eligible 504 first mortgage loans for sale to third-party investors.

Robert Marquette, CEO of Members 1st FCU, Mechanicsburg, Penn., also testified on behalf of CUs, representing NAFCU at the hearing..

Mass. CU Exec To Head Va. CU Giant

NEWPORT NEWS, Va.-Langley FCU announced this morning it hired Thomas Ryan, chief operating officer at Digital Employees FCU, as CEO of the $1.7-billion CU. Ryan will succeed Jean Yokum, who is retiring after a teller-to-corner office career that included 55 years at Langley, the last 32 as CEO.

Dow La. FCU Names Williams CEO

PLAQUEMINE, La.-Dow Louisiana has hired Richard Williams, CEO of $360-million Securityplus FCU, in Baltimore, to head the $250-million CU. Williams has served in variety of senior management roles related to commercial, consumer and mortgage lending, including chief lending officer at EDS CU in Texas, and has also managed and developed retail banking operations.

Facebook CUs' Next Big Competitor?

SAN JOSE, Calif.-Just as Facebook is moving to a more robust payment system that supports real money, a Cisco survey shows consumers are interested in bringing their banking business to the social network.

Credit Union Journal affiliate American Banker reported that nearly 30% of consumers surveyed said they might one day use Facebook for some type of banking service if it were offered, according to an online survey Cisco conducted in May among 1,061 consumers in North America.

Though Facebook does not currently offer traditional banking products, it is aggressively making its payment system more compatible with existing means of moving money.

Among the Cisco survey findings:

* 14% of respondents said that if Facebook offered banking or payment services, they would consider using it with a prepaid account they could reload, while 8% said they would consider using a Facebook checking account or debit card. Five percent said they would consider a Facebook savings account or online bill-payment service.

* Just 4% said they would consider a line of credit from Facebook, 1% would consider a mortgage, and 1% would use Facebook for all of their banking services.

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