Here’s a fact: Banks today have about 95% of the small business lending market. Yet you would think it was 0.95% the way they have been carrying on in opposition to a bipartisan bill that would let credit unions do more small business lending. While U.S. senators are at home for the next two weeks, they will be hearing from credit unions and small businesses — lots of them — to clear away the bankers’ bluster and redirect the focus of this issue to where it belongs: on helping the nation’s small businesses.
Bill Cheney | All Articles
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Bill Cheney became president and CEO of the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) in July, 2010, after having been appointed by the CUNA Board of Directors following a nationwide search that included a number of distinguished and highly eligible candidates. CUNA is the nation’s largest and most influential advocacy group for credit unions, representing most of nation’s nearly 7,800 credit unions. Credit unions are not-for-profit, volunteer-directed financial institutions which serve more than 90 million consumer-members across the nation. A credit union veteran, Cheney has a quarter century’s experience beginning in 1985, which took him from Texas (his home state), to California and now Washington, D.C. He has been involved in credit unions at nearly every operational level and disciplines. He served as a credit union CEO for nine years (with Xerox FCU, today known as Xceed FCU,in El Segundo, Calif.), and as president and CEO of the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues for four years. He has been involved with a number of credit union organizations over the years, including the National Assn. of Federal Credit Unions (NAFCU), American Association of Credit Union Leagues (AACUL), World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) and many others. He holds a BBA (finance) from the University of Texas (Austin), and has attended the "Advanced Leadership Institute" at Harvard Business School (sponsored by the Credit Union Executive Society (CUES)/California Credit Union League (CCUL)), and the CUES Director’s Leadership Institute at the London Business School. He is a member of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE).
Should the president go big or small when he unveils his job-creation proposals in Thursday night’s speech before a joint session of Congress? You’ve heard the debate: Focus on large-scale, high-dollar initiatives that will galvanize the president’s base but surely hit a wall of opposition in the GOP-controlled House? Or promote smaller-scale initiatives that can gain bipartisan consensus and actually become law?
Consumers always benefit from choice in the marketplace. Small businesses are no different; that applies to their financing options, too. It’s a point worth remembering during this National Small Business Week. And it is an important reason Congress should stop delaying and pass legislation to raise the arbitrary cap that now constrains credit unions’ small business lending.
Late last week, 13 senators signed and sent a letter to Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke. The letter wasn’t about headline-dominating issues of interest rates, deficit reduction or extending the Bush tax cuts. The letter cautioned Chairman Bernanke about action he and his fellow Federal Reserve Board of Governors are scheduled to take this week -- which, if not done properly, will have a troubling impact on the wallets of millions of consumers across the nation.
If I told you I had a plan that would help create hundreds of thousands of new jobs, inject billions into the economy, is supported by conservative, liberal and business groups, and wouldn’t cost the taxpayers a nickel, what would your response be?