The three federal banking agency members of the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) with Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) responsibilities – the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency – announced last week that data on small business, small farm, and community development lending reported by certain commercial banks and savings associations under the CRA is now available.
The FFIEC provides the CRA data in electronic form for each reporting commercial bank and savings association. The FFIEC also has prepared aggregate disclosure statements of small business and small farm lending for all of the metropolitan statistical areas and nonmetropolitan counties in the United States and its territories. These can be accessed at: https://www.ffiec.gov/cra/craproducts.htm.
The regulations that implement the CRA require commercial banks and savings associations with total assets of approximately $1 billion or more to collect and report data regarding their small business, small farm, and community development lending.
The mandatory reporting threshold adjusts annually based on changes to the Consumer Price Index, and for 2016 the threshold was $1.216 billion. Consequently, the CRA data does not provide activity for all institutions and it only includes small business lending. According to according to analysis provided by the agencies, the CRA data accounts for roughly 71% of small business loans outstanding at bank and thrift institutions.
Based on the summary from the (3) agencies, in the aggregate, about 7.5 million small business loans (originations and purchases) totaling $257 billion were reported in 2016 (see Table 1). The total number of loans and the number of loans originated increased by about 23 percent and 4.3 percent respectively relative to 2015.
The large year-over-year increase in reported purchases of small business loans is mostly attributable to the acquisition of a large retail credit card portfolio by a single institution according to the summary. The dollar amount of originations increased by about 4.4 percent. Regarding small farm loans, the number of originations increased by about 3 percent while the dollar amount decreased by about 1 percent in 2016 from 2015.
Further highlights from the 2016 data as well as some insights concerning interpreting the data. These can be accessed in pdf form with supporting tables at: