* WASHINGTON (4/6/09)--The Small Business Administration (SBA) said that the guarantees and fee changes the agency made to increase interest in lending has worked. Since provisions contained in the economic stimulus package increased the percentage of guaranteed small business loans to 90%, the agency has approved 4,256 loans worth $800 million total (American Banker
April 3). Average weekly loan volume also has increased 21.7% to $146 million ... * WASHINGTON (4/6/09)--The financial industry is stressed out over financial institution stress tests, according to financial observers. The tests were announced two months ago and have caused increased anxiety in the industry because regulators have not said what results they will reveal (American Banker
April 3). Some observers say the results need to be made public, or else more confusion will occur. Unless the results are made public, there will be more speculation, said Robert Clarke, a former comptroller of the currency. Some banks who pass the tests may try to publicize it--a move that might be in the best interest of some institutions, while others who remain quiet may tip off the industry that they did not do well, added Chris Low, chief economist, FTN Financial ... * WASHINGTON (4/6/09)-- National Credit Union Administration Board Member Gigi Hyland visited Treasury Department FCU in Washington,
D.C., Wednesday, to meet with staff and CEO Alfred Scipio, and Operation HOPE CEO/founder, John Hope Bryant. Operation HOPE is a non-profit, public benefit organization with the mission of expanding economic opportunity in underserved communities through economic education and empowerment. The HOPE partnership with Treasury Department FCU, called HOPE Inside, is the first of its kind in the eastern U.S. and the first in a credit union. Through the partnership, Treasury Department FCU provides financial literacy and economic empowerment financial services to its members, including seminars on home buyer education and credit and money management education. In its first year, the credit union assisted over 2,740 members. From left are Hyland and Bryant. (Photo provided by the National Credit Union Administration) ...