Responding to industry complaints, the Small Business Administration has slashed examination fees charged to small-business investment companies with assets above $60 million. The new fees went into effect April 30.

The SBA capped base fees at $14,000 per exam for these large companies and described the cutoff as a "substantial" break. For instance, an SBIC with $200 million of assets previously paid $27,000 per exam. Large SBICs had argued that they were shouldering the cost of examining smaller institutions.

The SBA will make up the fee shortfall from the growth of SBICs, but some small ones could see exam fee increases of 5% to 25%, officials said.

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