Washington, D.C (May 8, 2018)—The Independent Community Bankers of America® (ICBA) today thanked the House of Representatives for passing pro-community bank legislation to strengthen the Small Business Administration 7(a) program. The bipartisan Small Business 7(a) Lending Oversight Reform Act (H.R. 4743) includes targeted reforms to ensure the program continues safely expanding the reach of lending and credit services to a broader range of borrowers who would not qualify for a conventional loan.
“The Small Business Administration’s 7(a) loan program allows community banks to use their unique underwriting skills to more effectively serve local small businesses,” ICBA President and CEO Rebeca Romero Rainey said. “ICBA and the nation’s community bankers thank the House for passing this much-needed bill to promote a robust and sustainable 7(a) program to help small businesses create jobs and strengthen our economy.”
H.R. 4743 would:
- strengthen the integrity of all SBA guaranteed lending programs by codifying the SBA Office of Credit Risk Management and Lender Oversight Committee, increasing transparency in the office’s budget, and providing guidelines for lender reviews and lender appeals rights;
- safeguard the 7(a) program from abuse by codifying the SBA’s “Credit Elsewhere Test,” which requires lenders to fully substantiate and document the reasons a given applicant cannot be served with conventional credit; and
- stabilize 7(a) program funding by allowing the SBA to lift the cap on general business loans by up to 15 percent of the limit if it is determined the cap will be reached, as it was in 2015, which disrupted SBA lending and required ICBA-backed emergency legislation.
ICBA looks forward to working with members of the Senate to continue advancing this legislation and urges House members to support the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act (S. 2155) when it comes to a vote.
The Independent Community Bankers of America®, the nation’s voice for nearly 5,700 community banks of all sizes and charter types, is dedicated exclusively to representing the interests of the community banking industry and its membership through effective advocacy, best-in-class education and high-quality products and services. For more information, visit ICBA’s website at www.icba.org.