Small Biz Loans Still Lagging Across U.S., CUs Stepping Up to Fill Gap

Posted by Marissa Anema Wednesday, February 09, 2011 11:28:00 AM

Small business loans in the U.S. are still lagging behind recent increases in other types of loans to companies and consumers, according to a Tuesday article in The Wall Street Journal. Credit unions continue to step up to fill the gap.

The Federal Reserve reported last week that 10% of large U.S. banks said they eased loan terms for small businesses in the past three months, according to the Journal. In third quarter 2010, U.S. banks and saving institutions had $631 billion in outstanding "small" loans to businesses - a 5% reduction from $667 billion as of March 31, said the FDIC.

In the third quarter, the number of small-business loans and lines of credit were more than 70% less from their pre-crisis peaks, according to data from about 380 banks, credit-card companies and other lenders, Small Business Financial Exchange and Equifax Inc. told the Journal.

Healthy, profitable U.S. banks say they are geared up to increase small-business lending, the Journal said. This is something credit unions have done throughout the recession, when they haven't hit the MBL lending cap CUNA said.

The Wall Street Journal article is available at


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