In its continued push to increase credit union business lending, the Wisconsin Credit Union League questioned a recent fund disbursement to banks.
The league called out the $767 million coming from the U.S. Treasury Department last week that went to banks to help get credit flowing to small businesses. The funds are from the $30 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program II earmarked by Congress last year.
Two Wisconsin banks received $15 million and $1.5 million, respectively, according to WCUL President/CEO Brett Thompson. He said the Treasury’s move may be ill-advised given that credit unions have had to turn down loans in large part to the 12.25% member business lending cap.
“Yet, as we’ve seen throughout the economic downturn, throwing taxpayer money at shareholder-owned banks fails to help Main Street businesses,” Thompson said.
Wisconsin banks’ business lending decreased by $63 million in the year preceding March 2011, which was the third consecutive year of decreases despite receiving government funding to aid small businesses, according to the league.