Credit Unions and the PPP Loans: Who Tells What Story?

When looking at data that is quite general, it is hard find meaning. The SBA has just released total Payroll Protection Program loans disbursed as of the program’s end on August 8, 2020.

SBA total PPP loan data as of August 8, 2020

Loan Count Net Dollars Lender Count Avg Loan
5,212,128 $525,012,201,124 5,460 $100.7K

What role did credit unions play? What are insights from this very summary data? Did the lending matter? Two observations come to mind.

  1. Small lenders were vital. These were categorized as firms with less than $10 billion in assets. They were 98% of total participants. They provided 45% of the total dollars disbursed.

As shown in the table, loans less than $50K were the majority of those granted (69%) but only 12% of the total dollars disbursed.

$50K and Under From SBA Loan Size table

Total Loans Total $ % Loans %Total $ Loans Avg Loan
3,574,110 $62.742B 68.6% 12.0% $17.6K

This is the primary category that includes credit union activity. Their average loan size was $46.7 K.

  1. If the public relied solely on the eight SBA data summaries, credit unions’ role would be significantly understated. The Lender Segment chart assigns 84% of the credit union participants to the under $1 billion asset group. That “credit union” segment’s loan total is only 35% of the actual disbursements credit unions reported in their September 30, 2020 call report.

From SBA’s Lender Segment Chart

# Lenders # Loans $ Total Loans Avg Loan
Credit Unions (<$1B): 719 67,846 $3,099,426,436 $45.7K
% cf. to Call Report 84% 35% 34.6% 97.8%

From NCUA September 30, 2020 Call Reports

# Lenders # Loans $ Total Loans Avg Loan
Call Report Totals: 859 191,856 $8,954,408,403 $46.7K

Credit unions comprised 17% of all lenders.  They disbursed 1.7% of all PPP loans.

Ohio’s Example

The SBA also presents macro totals by state. The following is for Ohio. The credit union data is from call reports.

Ohio Total All Loans from SBA

# Lenders # Loans $ Loans Avg Loan
N/A 149,144 $18,532,840,346 $124.3K

Ohio CU Totals from 9/30 NCUA Call Reports:

# Lenders # Loans $ Loans Avg Loan
38 4,792 (3.2%) $263.7M (0.4%) $55K

Wright Patt CU was the largest PPP coop lender in Ohio, and the 41st by loan count nationally. Their 952 loans totaled $67 million or an average of $70.4K.

What is the Story? Who Tells It?

Numbers are dry. They show activity, not impact. These loans are the means to an end—stabilizing small business and employee income caught up in a crisis not of their making.

The goal is not merely reporting credit union statistics: 192,000 loans totaling $8.9 billion. The message should be what these funds did to sustain local businesses and economic activity.

That outcome, improving members’ lives, is coop’s primary purpose. Now is the time to again tell how the “credit” in credit union makes a difference. Better yet, have some of the members who received these 192,000 payroll protection grants, tell their story from your platform.

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