Small-business loan approvals from large banks reached a post-crisis high in September, according to a Biz2Credit study.

Large institutions approved nearly 21% of small-business loan applications, providing more evidence that the economic recovery continues. It was a 3.1% improvement from a year earlier. Approvals from big banks, or those with $10 billion or more in assets, have steadily increased since January.

"As the economy continues its slow but steady rebound, small business optimism grows, and entrepreneurs are more willing to invest in their companies," Rohit Arora, Biz2Credit's chief executive, said in a press release.

Of all the institutional lenders included in the index, nearly 60% granted the loans requested of them in September.

Approval rates from alternative lenders, such as merchant cash advance companies, factors, and other nonbank institution, were relatively flat from a month earlier, at about 63%. Credit unions approved about 43% of small-business loan requests.

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