Sept 2 -- The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) invites public comments to OMB by October 4, 2021 on the proposed 2022 Small Business Lending Survey.
Small businesses are an important component of the U.S. economy. According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), small firms accounted for almost half of private-sector employment and over 65 percent of net new jobs between 2000 and 2019. Many small businesses have little or no direct access to capital markets and are thus reliant on bank financing, both for operating expenses and for investment. For banks, small business lending is an important way that they help meet their communities' needs, especially for the many banks that primarily focus on commercial rather than consumer lending.
Given the value of small businesses to the U.S. economy and the role of bank lending to small businesses, the proposed FDIC 2022 Small Business Lending Survey (SBLS 2022), which surveys banks, will provide important data to complement existing sources of information and will provide additional insight into many aspects of small business lending extended by banks.
The proposed SBLS 2022 will document the current types of credit offered, information banks use to underwrite loans, the market area for small business loans, competition for small business lending, and the practices used to conduct small business lending. SBLS 2022 asks similar questions about banks' lending volumes for business purposes as in the 2016 collection, but by finer gradations for both business size and loan size and by both loans outstanding and loan originations. The proposed collection will also provide new information on banks' current or planned use of financial technology, whether and how banks use automated lending, and the effects of the coronavirus pandemic with respect to their small business loan programs.
The proposed SBLS 2022 seeks to collect additional information on how to improve Call Report data on small business lending. The proposed collection asks basic questions about banks’ ability to easily retrieve information on small business loans by business GAR, whether they use GAR or loan exposures to define small businesses, and if so, what the thresholds are. SBLS 2022 also asks similar questions about banks’ lending volumes for business purposes as in 2016, but by finer gradations for both business size and loan size and by both loans outstanding and loan originations. This combined information will help policy makers understand how best to collect accurate information on small business lending while exerting the least burden on banks.
The proposed SBLS 2022 will provide other important data to complement existing sources of data on small businesses lending. Similar to SBLS 2016, SBLS 2022 will document the current types of credit offered, information banks use to underwrite loans, the market area for small business loans, competition for small business lending, and the practices used to conduct small business lending. The information gleaned from repeating these topics will help policy makers understand the extent to which ongoing consolidation in the banking industry—in 2016 there were a little over 6,000 banks in the U.S. and currently there are less than 5,000—may have affected how banks conduct their small business lending and small businesses’ access to credit.
The SBLS 2022 collection is scheduled to be in the field beginning in May 2022. The collection will be administered by the U.S. Census Bureau via a web interface. Recommendations for which bank staff to answer each section will be made to respondents in order to match the appropriate expertise to relevant questions. Because the SBLS is designed as a nationally-representative survey of banks of all sizes, including community banks, regional banks, and large nationwide banks, the survey is intended be used to make inferences for the entire industry regarding U.S. banks' small business lending activity and practices.
The FDIC will use the information collected from the survey to produce a report of main findings, scheduled to be published in 2024, and will share the findings with the industry, policy makers, and academics. We plan to explore whether there are differences in bank practices for banks of different sizes and for banks with different business models, and to document changes over time in responses to questions that were retained from SBLS 2016. The FDIC may also use the collected data to produce more detailed research studies that focus on specific topics.
2016 SBLS webpage: https://www.fdic.gov/bank/historical/sbls/
2022 SBLS submission to OMB: https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewICR?ref_nbr=202102-3064-003
Click on IC List for survey instruments, View Supporting Statement for technical documentation. Submit comments to OMB via this webpage.
FR notice inviting public comments on 2022 SBLS: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/09/02/2021-18951/agency-information-collection-activities-submission-for-omb-review-of-information-collection
Point of contact: Manny Cabeza, Regulatory Counsel, FDIC 202-898-3767 email@example.com
For AEA members submitting comments to OMB, "A Primer on How to Respond to Calls for Comment on Federal Data Collections" is available at https://www.aeaweb.org/content/file?id=5806