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Inside Washington (09/15/2011)
* WASHINGTON (9/16/11)--An additional 61 community banks received a total of $608 million through the Small Business Lending Fund (SBLF), the Treasury Department announced Wednesday. The SBLF, which was established as part of the Small Business Jobs Act that President Barack Obama signed into law, encourages community banks to increase their lending to small businesses, helping those companies expand their operations and create new jobs. With the announcement, 191 community banks have now received more than $2.4 billion in SBLF funding. Additional SBLF funding announcements will be made in the weeks ahead, Treasury said. The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and credit unions are pressing Congress to increase credit unions' member business lending (MBL) cap to 27.5% of assets from 12.25%. Doing so would open up more opportunity to offer MBLs, inject $13 billion in loans into the economy and create as many as 140,000 new jobs, with no cost to taxpayers, CUNA said. … * WASHINGTON (9/16/11)--The American Bankers Association (ABA) has asked the Treasury Department for further explanation about rejected bank applications for the Small Business Lending Fund (SBLF) (American Banker Sept. 15). About 60% of applicants were denied for SBLF funds, primarily because they failed to meet the program’s minimum statutory requirements, Treasury said in a white paper last week. The ABA asked for more details on those denials and how banks can address those issues, in a letter from ABA President Frank Keating to Jason Tepperman, the head of the SBLF program. Keating said he was concerned the SBLF was failing to reach its potential … * WASHINGTON (9/16/11)--A more simple banking and regulatory environment would be a safer, Tom Hoenig, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, said in an interview with American Banker (Sept. 15). Hoenig, who will retire Sept. 30, said the current system subsidizes the high-risk activities of larger institutions, which he called a misallocation of resources. He suggested separating the roles within commercial banks between payments and intermediation, and higher-risk areas, such as investment banking, trading and hedge funds. Higher risk activities should be funded by private capital, while payments and intermediation should remain subsidized by the regulatory system, he said. Despite enhanced supervision since the 2008 financial fallout, the banking system is no easier to understand or enforce, Hoenig argued …


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