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Treasury Report Shows Drop In Small-Business Loans

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Nine of the largest banks to receive money through the government's $700 billion financial market rescue program cut back lending to small businesses in January

| March 18, 2010

WASHINGTON — Nine of the largest banks to receive money through the government's $700 billion financial market rescue program cut back lending to small businesses in January, the Dow Jones Newswire reports.

The total volume of small-business loans outstanding at the banks fell 1% in January, the U.S. Treasury said in a report released late Monday. New loan originations for small businesses dropped 28%.

Meanwhile, total average loan balances at the institutions rose 2% to $1.064 trillion in January. Overall new loan originations were down 35%.

The Treasury attributes much of January's fall in overall originations to sharply higher new lending activity in the previous two months.

The drop in small-business lending comes as the Obama administration and federal banking regulators are pushing for a revival in small-business lending. President Barack Obama has proposed shifting $30 billion from the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, to a new small-business lending fund. The details of how that fund would operate have yet to emerge.

Source: Dow Jones Newswire

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