Small banks beat out their larger counterparts last month with a bigger jump in approvals for loans to small businesses, according to the Biz2Credit Small Business Lending Index.
A monthly analysis of 1,000 loan applications on Biz2credit.com found that loan approvals in June by banks with less than $10 billion of assets totaled 47.5%, up two percentage points from May and five percentage points from a year earlier.
Approvals by banks with at least $10 billion of assets, rose half a percentage point from May, to 11.1%, Biz2Credit said Tuesday. This also was significantly higher than the 8.9% approval rate recorded in June 2011.
"Small banks are the big story this month," Rohit Arora, Biz2Credit's chief executive, said in a press release. "They have made a lot of SBA 7(a) express loans, which used to be the strength of the largest banks."
The June loan approval rate for credit unions totaled 55.8%, down from 57.6% in May. Some credit unions reported that they had reached their yearly lending limit, which is roughly 12.3% of their total assets, Biz2Credit said.
Approvals from alternate lenders, such as accounts receivables financers, merchant cash advance lenders and mirco lenders, also decreased to 62.9% from a peak of 63.2% in May.
"When traditional lenders, get back into the game, it impacts the alternative funders, such as factoring and merchant cash advance companies, which generally charge higher interest rates than banks do," Arora said. "If banks are lending, small business owners are less likely to look for other options."