Regulators released underwriting guidelines for new small-business lending subsidies, on the same day they announced a big-name symposium dealing with the small-business sector.
Under a September law giving small banks $30 billion in capital for small-business lending, the bank regulators must issue underwriting standards for loans made with the new funds. The joint guidelines announced Thursday said participants in the program "will have considerable latitude" to formulate their own underwriting standards. The agencies said prudent underwriting should reflect the ability of a small business' revenue to repay its debt, the value of collateral, a borrower's overall creditworthiness and any "secondary sources" for repaying the loan.
The symposium, to be hosted Jan. 13 by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and moderated by CNBC, will include several high-profile policymakers to discuss obstacles facing small-business lending. Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., the incoming chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, as well as Small Business Administration chief Karen Mills, are scheduled to speak. The forum will also include a panel discussion with FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair, Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke, Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., and Thomas Bell Jr., the chairman of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
While the event is free, seating is limited to those that register. To register, visit www.regonline.com/SBLForum.