Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Oklahoma, Colorado Lead Growth in Small Business Loans

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Oklahoma, Colorado Lead Growth in Small Business Loans

Article excerpt

Small business lending in Oklahoma and Colorado grew at double- digit rates in 1996, while overall lending at 10th District banks slowed from the previous year's pace, according to a Federal Reserve economist.

While changes in small business lending have not been the same across all banks, growth in small business lending has been healthy overall, said William R. Keeton, senior economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

"This trend is encouraging because small business lending is important for both the growth of the district economy and the health of district banks," Keeton said. He examines the amount of small business lending at 10th District banks and analyzes the changes in small business lending relative to the loan size, bank size and bank location. Keeton said lending to very small business slowed while lending to other small businesses in the 10th District increased. "While total business lending in 10th District states slowed sharply last year from the torrid pace of 1995, small business lending held fairly steady," Keeton said. "Growth in total business loans fell from 15.7 percent in 1995 to 6.8 percent in 1996, a decrease of more than half. Small business loans showed much less volatility, growth at a healthy pace of 8.3 percent in 1995 and only a slightly lower pace of 7.1 percent in 1996." Small business lending grew 3 percent in Missouri and New Mexico compared with 1995. Overall, growth was up from the previous year in Oklahoma and Colorado, virtually unchanged in Wyoming and down in Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri and New Mexico. A reduction in total business lending in the district, however, was almost entirely in large business loans, according to Keeton. In 1996, small business lending grew at a faster pace at small- and medium-sized banks compared with large banks. And as for location, rural banks increased their small business loans faster than urban banks the past two years. Fair Credit Reporting Act The American Bankers Association is presenting a telephone seminar June 11 designed to answer bankers' questions about the recent changes to the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The compliance deadline is Sept. 30. The seminar is scheduled from 3 to 4:30 p.m., EDT. ABA's consumer banking expert, Nessa E. Feddis, and attorney L. Richard Fischer of Morrison & Foerster, Washington, will update bankers on the recent FCRA amendments. …

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