US GAO: Community Banks: Effect of Regulations on Small Business Lending and Institutions Appears Modest, but Lending Data Could Be Improved

From US GAO

GAO-18-312: Published: Aug 6, 2018. Publicly Released: Sep 5, 2018.

Small businesses often rely on community banks for credit. Since the financial crisis, federal regulators have implemented new banking regulations, which could create difficulties for small businesses seeking loans from their local banks.

We found that the economic environment and competition, rather than regulatory burden, explained most of the trends in this lending from 2001-2017. We also found that community banks’ lending to small businesses has largely recovered since the crisis. However, the data that these banks report to federal regulators is incomplete, so we recommended that federal regulators evaluate how they collect this data.

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