CUs' Business Lending Success Earns Ire Of Bankers, Local Media Coverage
Three Spokane credit unions made headlines in a local newspaper because their business-lending
The Credit Union Journal asked representatives of the credit unions what niche they see for credit unions - many of
Scott Adkins, director of lending for Spokane Teachers CU, said "many" of the CU's 77,000 members have
"Most credit unions, and ours in particular, are driven to meet the needs of their members," he said. "We haven't
Spokane Teachers has done commercial real estate lending on a limited basis for years. Adkins said the STCU
"A broad number of members are interested in these business services. One part of our long-term strategic plan is to
Global Credit Union has more than 60,000 members-many of whom are self-employed, reports senior vice president
"Many of those people own small businesses, some of which are sole proprietorships and some have perhaps a small
The problem many small businesses have is a lack of resources, McKay continued. The niche for CUs, he suggested,
Beware the Dark Side
McKay said Global is in the process of getting approved by the state to offer more business lending products. He
"The biggest thing members want is real estate secured loans," he said. "We did over $39 million in member
"Service to the small business person is really what this is all about," said McKay.
Gene Fitzpatrick, vice president of lending for Numerica CU, warned credit unions to be aware of the commitment
"As more credit unions enter the world of business banking, they will find it is very costly," he said.
Loan officers must interview the prospective lenders, analyze the applications, create documents and then calculate
"I don't know if there truly is a niche," Fitzpatrick said. "I don't see there is a big, underserved market. Some
Most banks are not making $20,000 and $30,000 loans because they are costly and risky, Fitzpatrick declared. "For
A 'Full Plate'
Numerica does not make business lending a priority focus, he said. The CU has a "full plate" of personal loans for
Recently, Numerica became the first CU in Washington state to be approved as an SBA (Small Business