Banks Approving More Business Loans, Survey Indicates

Posted by: John Tozzi on June 13, 2011

Banks rarely make public how many loan applications they deny. A new survey by researchers at Pepperdine University suggests that lenders are approving slightly more business loans than they did in the last year. The majority of loan requests are still rejected. Bankers reported denying 60 percent of business loan applications, down from 67 percent from Pepperdine’s previous two surveys released six months and one year ago. (The 60 percent loan rejection rate was the median of 72 banks that responded to questions in March.)

Most business loans were rejected because of concerns about borrowers’ earnings, cash flow, or collateral. Three quarters of banks responding agreed with the statement that they felt more pressure from regulators to avoid making bad loans. Of those, about 61 percent agreed that pressure from regulators caused them to deny loans they would have otherwise approved. It’s not clear what time period this refers to, however, and Pepperdine hasn’t asked the question in the past.

The survey also indicated that loan demand is increasing. A net 53 percent of banks reported more businesses seeking funding than six months earlier. It’s hard to draw any firm conclusions from these responses. If banks are seeing increased loan demand, and they’re approving more applications, that should eventually lead to expanding business credit. Federal data suggests the total amount of business loans outstanding is still shrinking, at least among loans under $1 million.

Pepperdine’s news release is here and the report is available for download here.

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What's it like to run your own company today? Entrepreneurs face multiple hurdles new and old, from raising capital and managing employees to keeping up with technology and competing in a global marketplace. In this blog, the Small Business channel's John Tozzi and Nick Leiber discuss the news, trends, and ideas that matter to small business owners. Follow them on Twitter @newentrepreneur.

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