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Small Business Lending: Challenges and Opportunities for Community Banks

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The recent decline in small business lending (SBL) among U.S. community banks has spurred a growing debate about the future role of small banks in providing credit to U.S. small businesses. This paper adds to that discussion in three key ways. First, our research builds on existing evidence that suggests that the decline in SBL by community banks is a trend that began at least a decade before the financial crisis. Larger banks and nonbank institutions have been playing an increasing role in SBL. Second, our work shows that in the years preceding the crisis, small businesses increasingly turned to mortgage credit — most notably, commercial mortgage credit — to fund their operations, exposing them to the property crisis that underpinned the Great Recession. Finally, our work illustrates how community banks face an increasingly dynamic competitive landscape, including the entrance of deep-pocketed alternative nonbank lenders that are using technology to find borrowers and underwrite loans, often using unconventional lending practices. Although these lenders may pose a competitive threat to community banks, we explore emerging examples of partnerships and alliances among community banks and nonbank lenders.
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WORKING PAPER NO. 16-08
SMALL BUSINESS LENDING:
CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR
COMMUNITY BANKS
Julapa Jagtiani
Supervision, Regulation, and Credit
Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia
Catharine Lemieux
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
March 2016
Small Business Lending:
Challenges and Opportunities for Community Banks
Julapa Jagtiani*
Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia
Catharine Lemieux
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
February 29, 2016
Abstract
The recent decline in small business lending (SBL) among U.S. community banks has spurred a
growing debate about the future role of small banks in providing credit to U.S. small businesses.
This paper adds to that discussion in three key ways. First, our research builds on existing evidence
that suggests that the decline in SBL by community banks is a trend that began at least a decade
before the financial crisis. Larger banks and nonbank institutions have been playing an increasing
role in SBL. Second, our work shows that in the years preceding the crisis, small businesses
increasingly turned to mortgage credit most notably, commercial mortgage credit to fund
their operations, exposing them to the property crisis that underpinned the Great Recession.
Finally, our work illustrates how community banks face an increasingly dynamic competitive
landscape, including the entrance of deep-pocketed alternative nonbank lenders that are using
technology to find borrowers and underwrite loans, often using unconventional lending practices.
Although these lenders may pose a competitive threat to community banks, we explore emerging
examples of partnerships and alliances among community banks and nonbank lenders.
Keywords: small business lending, online lending, lending technology, shadow banking, community
banks, large and small banks
JEL Classifications: G21, G23
* Contacts: julapa.jagtiani@phil.frb.org or cathy.lemieux@chi.frb.org. We thank Dean Amel, Allen Berger, Charles
Calomiris, Robert Eisenbeis, Greg Feldberg, Ron Feldman, Robin Prager, and participants at the 2015 Federal
Reserve System & CSBS Annual Community Banking Conference, and the 2015 International Atlantic Economic
Society (IAES) conference for their helpful comments and suggestions. Thanks also to Marshall Eckblad, Deng Ning,
Raman Maingi, Elisabeth McLaughlin, Anna Veksler, and Tom Weng for their research assistance. The views
expressed in this paper are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Federal Reserve
Bank of Philadelphia, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, or the Federal Reserve System. This paper is available
free of charge at www.philadelphiafed.org/research-and-data/publications/working-papers.
Small Business Lending:
Challenges and Opportunities for Community Banks
I. Introduction
The ongoing evolution of the small business lending (SBL) sector presents both challenges
and opportunities for community banks. A growing body of research examines how the financial
crisis and new regulations have translated to a consistent decline in SBL by community banks.
Beginning in the 1990s, large banks began to increase their market share at the expense of
community banks. Ten years or more before the financial crisis, getting a standard commercial
term loan from the bank down the street began to lose its place as the dominant choice for small
businesses seeking credit.
The financial crisis served to accelerate these trends, setting the stage for a new postcrisis
landscape in credit markets for small firms. Using Federal Reserve data, this paper demonstrates
that before the financial crisis, small businesses increasingly used real estate as collateral for loans.
During the crisis, credit available from community banks contracted. Subsequently, as the economy
and housing market began to recover, large banks leveraged technology to compete for smaller
commercial borrowers as they searched for lending opportunities in a low-return environment.
This paper also examines the rise of alternative and nonbank lenders over the past several
years. Most recently, nonbank and alternative lenders have begun to compete with banks by
introducing sophisticated technologies and new underwriting methods. These lenders typically
issue small business loans electronically, with minimal processing time, across a range of sizes,
terms, and borrower risk profiles. In a bellwether development, nonbank lenders — including
payment processors such as PayPal and Square have begun to harness databases of borrower
sales history collected during the processing of payments to offer cash-flow loans and other credit
products.
In the postcrisis environment, evidence suggests that community banks encounter a series
of challenges and unique opportunities. Community banks face rising competition from large banks.
Nonbank lenders are new entrants and meet fewer requirements. Despite these challenges,
evidence suggests that community banks have their own opportunities in the emerging new world
order for SBL. For starters, there is evidence that demand for credit is growing. This paper also
examines the emerging examples of banks partnering with alternative lenders to fund qualifying
loans originated through online platforms.
Section II summarizes the related literature. Section III discusses the increasing roles of
nonbanks as SBL funding sources. Section IV focuses on the banking institutions as SBL funding
sources and compares the roles of large versus small banks over time. Section V demonstrates
evidence of the increasing role of mortgages as funding sources for small businesses. Section VI
discusses the SBL market environment after the financial crisis and the associated challenges and
opportunities for community banks. Finally, Section VII presents our concluding remarks.
II. Literature Review and Our Contribution
The health of SBL in the U.S. has been a prominent area of research and debate since the
financial crisis. During the crisis, lending standards tightened, and many indicators suggested that
small businesses had difficulty obtaining credit. As credit conditions have thawed and new
competitors have entered the sector particularly alternative and nonbank lenders one key
point of inquiry is the future role of community banks, which were until recently all but
synonymous with SBL. Historically, community banks have been an important source of credit for
small businesses after personal resources have been exhausted.
There is a sizable body of research portraying a two-decade period during which
community banks experienced a loss of SBL market share. According to Wiersch and Shane (2013),
small business loan issuance by community banks began to decline consistently during the 1990s.
They demonstrate that banks’ balances of commercial loans of less than $1 million (a traditional
definition of small business loans) began to fall steadily between 1995 and 2012. They argue that
some of this shift was attributed to a relative decline in the profitability of SBL, including time-
intensive processing for smaller-balance loans.
Even as the Internet began to change the SBL marketplace, community banks’ knowledge of
local markets remained an advantage. DeYoung, Frame, Glennon, and Nigro (2011) and Peterson
and Rajan (2002) noted increasing distance between small business borrowers and lenders as a
result of changes in lending technology, such as the adoption of credit scoring technologies by the
lending banks.
DeYoung, Glennon, and Nigro (2008), however, found a significant relationship between
loan defaults and the proximity of borrowers and lenders. Loans made to borrowers located closer
to the lending bank perform better. Whereas borrowers at least 25 miles away from their bank
lenders were 10.8% more likely to default on their loans, borrowers located at least 50 miles away
were 22.1% more likely to default on their loans. The paper argues that qualitative information
about borrowers is best used by small banks because they are “owned, managed, staffed, and
funded by members of the community and thus have an intimate knowledge of the local area and
lower transportation costs for on-site visits with new firms.This confirms findings from previous
studies, such as by Berger, Miller, Petersen, Rajan, and Stein (2005) and Chakraborty and Hu
(2006), that small banks have an advantage in relationship lending.
In examining the intersection of mortgage credit and SBL, Mills and McCarthy (2015)
analyzed U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) data and found that the level of exposure to the
housing market by small businesses is significant. During the recent recession, households that
owned small businesses held 59% of their debt in mortgages (versus 38% for other households),
and they held another 7% of their debt in residential secured debt. Mills and McCarthy also report
that self-employed households took on increasing amount of home equity debt during the boom
period from 1998 to 2007 and that the number started declining after 2008. Kennickell, Kwast, and
Pogach (2015) validated previous findings that households with small businesses tend to use home
equity as collateral for mortgage loans that support their small businesses, thereby driving up their
home-equity-loan-to-net-worth ratio, suggesting the need for further research on the interplay
between home ownership and small business finance. In this paper, we explore the role of
mortgages as funding sources for small business finance.
In addition to increasing dependency on mortgage financing for small business financing,
some studies find that small businesses have increasingly depended on larger banks as their
funding sources. For example, Prager and Wolken (2008), using the 2003 Survey of Small Business
Finance (SSBF) data, find that whereas 70% of small businesses cite a big bank as their primary
financial institution, only 25% cite a community bank (and 5% cite a nonbank). Interestingly, their
multivariate analysis does not support the view that community banks are the best places to serve
the smallest and youngest small businesses.
Similarly, there has been some debate about whether the long-term consolidation of
community banks leads to reduced small business activity after small community banks become
part of a big bank through mergers and acquisitions. Jagtiani, Kotlier, and Maingi (2015) show that
mergers involving community banks (during the period 20002012) have not adversely impacted
SBL activities. In fact, the combined banking firms tended to increase their SBL activity following
the mergers compared with small business loans made by the targets and the acquirers combined
(before the merger). Consistent with this finding, Hughes, Jagtiani, and Mester (2015) found that
larger community banks (with between $5 billion and $10 billion in assets) are more efficient in
offering small business loans than smaller community banks.
In addition to increasing reliance on mortgages and larger banks, there has also been
evidence (from SSBF data) of significant increased dependency on the use of nontraditional credit,
such as loans from nonbank institutions and business credit cards, which has grown dramatically in
the past decade. For nonbank lenders, Mester, Nakamura, and Renault (2007) report that finance
companies were responsible for an increasing share of loans to businesses over time, reaching one-
third by 2006. For other nontraditional credit, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve
System (2007) suggests that the rapid payment of outstanding balances by a large fraction of firms
indicates that business credit cards and trade credit (borrowing from suppliers) may have been
used largely for convenience rather than for long-term financing.
It should be noted that different definitions of SBL have been used in the literature, and
each definition has its limitations. Examples include commercial and industrial (C&I) loans with
origination amounts less than $1 million regardless of whether the borrowers are actually small
(the definition used in bank Reports of Income and Condition (Call Reports)), loans made to
businesses with less than $1million in gross revenue (the definition used in Community
Reinvestment Act (CRA) reports), loans made to businesses with fewer than 500 employees
regardless of loan size (the definition used in the SSBF), and C&I loans to nonfinancial noncorporate
borrowers regardless of the size of the loan and of the borrower (the definition used in the Flow of
Funds data). Because of these different definitions, the results may not be comparable across
studies.
We add to the growing body of SBL research by exploring various data sources in the same
study, and we further explore the impacts of competition and lending conditions before and after
the financial crisis. First, we find, using Federal Reserve and other sources of data, that large banks
have increased their share of SBL over the past decade. Second, our work shows that as property
markets began to rise before the recent financial crisis, small businesses increasingly tapped equity
in real estate to fund their business, exposing them to the eventual mortgages crisis. Finally, this
paper explores the growth rates and strategies among the expanding sector of alternative and
nonbank lenders, some of whom have established formal lending relationships with community
banks.
III. Increasing Roles of Nonbank Institutions in Small Business Lending
Some of the most frequently used data sources for SBL come from data reported by banks in
their Call Reports and their CRA reports.1 These data sources, however, only include SBL activity by
banking institutions. Call Report data define SBL by the size of the loan, and CRA data define SBL by
the size of the borrower. Both definitions have limitations. Another data source for SBL that
includes nonbank lenders is the Flow of Funds account. The definition of SBL in this data set is loans
to noncorporate, nonfinancial borrowers (e.g., partnerships or individually owned businesses). The
disadvantage with this data set is that some noncorporate borrowers could be large, and some
corporate borrowers could be small. By using data from all three sources, we can identify
overarching trends. Using Flow of Funds data, we explore changes in the volume of small business
loans (loans to noncorporate, nonfinancial companies) originated by nonbank institutions over
time. Figure 1 shows that small business loans originated by nondepository institutions that is,
finance companies, Farm Credit System, and the U.S. governmentincreased significantly since
the late 1990s and continued to rise through the financial crisis and postcrisis periods.
PayNet’s Small Business Credit Conditions Quarterly Report also shows evidence
supporting the increasing role of nonbank institutions in SBL. The SBL data from PayNet include
loans originated by both banks and nonbank institutions that are members of the PayNet network.
PayNet classifies business loans as SBL if the maximum outstanding balance that the borrower has
ever obtained from all lenders in the PayNet database is less than $1 million. In other words, it is
based on the borrower’s maximum receivable balance of all obligations reported to PayNet at any
given point in the history.
1 For example, Williams (2014) presents basic statistics of small business lending activities as of 2013 using both
Call Report data and CRA data.
If we assume that the member institutions of PayNet are a good representation of the entire
SBL market,2 then Figures 2 and 3 indicate that the overall SBL origination (by banks and
nonbanks) declined significantly during the financial crisis period, but the nonbank funding sources
of SBL grew steadily during the same period (as shown in Figure 1). Also, using PayNet data, Table
4 compares the distribution of lender types (banks, nonbank corporations, and finance companies)
as of the first quarter of 2015 for small and medium business loans (left panel) versus small
businesses only (right panel). As expected, banks still hold the majority of the SBL market share as
recently as 2015. However, it is interesting to note that banks’ market share for SBL is significantly
smaller than their lending share to larger businesses. Specifically, banks hold 56% market share in
SBL compared with 61% market share in small and medium business loans combined.
IV. The Changing Roles of Banks in Small Business Lending: Large versus Small Banks
The growth of SBL outside the community banking sector is a relatively new trend. For
decades, community banks were the primary source of credit for small businesses. As recently as
1997, small banks, with less than $10 billion in consolidated assets, accounted for 77% of the SBL
market share issued by commercial banks. However, the market share dropped to 43% in 2015.3
This is based on Call Report data for small business loans (with origination amounts less than $1
million) held by depository institutions. The decline is even more severe for small business loans of
less than $100,000 origination, where the market share for small banks under $10 billion declined
from 82% in 1997 to only 29% in 2015 (see Figures 4B and 5B).
2 PayNet members must pay a fee to join the network. One of the benefits of membership is access to peer data.
Therefore, PayNet members would be biased toward larger participants in the SBL market.
3 This is consistent with Puri, Rocholl, and Steffen (2011), who separate the supply effect and the demand effect in
their analysis, using a unique data set from Germany. They find that banks tend to cut back on their lending to
preserve liquidity. Small banks, in particular, tend to curtail their lending when facing more liquidity-constrained.
Again, using Call Report data, we determine the outstanding SBL held by banks in different
size groups. We inflation adjust both asset size and the SBL amount to 2014 dollars.4 Figure 4A
demonstrates that the overall outstanding SBL amount held by depository institutions has
increased over the years. However, most of this increase resulted from increased lending by larger
banks with total assets over $10 billion. Figure 4B shows the market share of SBL issued by large
banks versus small banks over the years. Similarly, Figure 4C shows that small business loans as a
portion of total assets among small banks (under $1 billion in assets) have been declining over the
years.5
We observe, however, that larger banks seem to have maintained roughly the same SBL-to-
assets ratio over the past two decades. This rise of large bank competition is even more apparent
when examining changes in smaller-balance small business loans. Figures 5A and 5B, using Call
Report data, show in real terms (dollar value) a 20-plus year decline in loans under $100,000 made
by community banks compared with a rise in such loans made by large banks. Regardless of
whether the data are unadjusted, inflation adjusted, or adjusted for asset size, the decline in SBL by
smaller banks is evident.
In addition to examining the outstanding amount (stock data) of SBL, we also examine the
newly originated SBL (flow data) over time using CRA data, which provide detailed information
about newly originated (or purchased) SBL by banks at the county level. In this data set, SBL is
defined as loans to businesses with gross annual revenues of less than $1 million. Because this
definition is based on the size of the company and not the size of the loan, the CRA data set is the
data source that best zeros in on credit for small businesses. Figures 6A, 6B, and 6C map the
4 Outstanding SBL here includes small C&I loans and small farm loans with origination amount less than $1 million.
Small business loans backed by CRE are not included. Figures A1, A2, A3, A4, and A5 in the Appendix present
similar plots but with small loans backed by CRE included in the SBL definition. Similar trends are observed
regardless of whether or not small loans backed by CRE are included.
5 Despite this downward trend, banks with less than $10 billion in total assets still provide a greater percentage of
small business loans than their share of assets in the banking industry. As of March 2015, these banks account for
16.5% of all banking assets and according to these data make 43% of SBL.
proportion of newly originated (and purchased) small business loans in each county that were
made by large banks (more than $10 billion in assets) relative to smaller banks (between $1 billion
and $10 billion) for 1997, 2005, and 2013, respectively. The maps show that large banks have been
playing an increasing role in the SBL market over the past two decades. The number of counties
where small banks made more than 80% of all the SBL (indicated in red color) fell by more than
70% between 1997 (see Figure 6A) and 2013 (see Figure 6C). More details of the number of
counties dominated by large versus small banks over the period 19972013 are presented in Table
1A.
It should be noted that these heat maps are plotted based on the CRA data that exclude
banks with less than approximately $1 billion in assets; thus, the blue shade of counties dominated
by large banks is likely to be overestimated. Despite this drawback in the CRA data, the dramatically
increasing number of blue counties (those dominated by large bank SBL) provides strong evidence
that large banks have been playing a significantly increasing role in SBL in the past decades.
Robustness Testing: To cover all banks, including small banks (with less than $1 billion) in
the analysis, we create similar heat maps using stock data (total SBL outstanding) from the Call
Reports. This method allows us to look across all banks, but we focus on SBL outstanding in the
banks’ portfolio rather than the SBL origination data reported in CRA. Because Call Report data only
provide the overall SBL amount, with no county breakdown, we use the Federal Reserve Summary
of Deposit data that report deposits at each bank at the county level. We assume the same county
distribution for SBL and for deposits for banks smaller than $1 billion (that do not report CRA data).
For banks with more than $1 billion (that do report CRA data), we distribute each bank’s total SBL
outstanding from Call Report to each of the counties based on its newly originated SBL distribution
(as reported in the CRA data). The heat maps (which include all of banks in the U.S.) for outstanding
SBL are presented in Figures 7A, 7B, and 7C for the periods 1998, 2005, and 2013, respectively.6
Although adding the data for smaller community banks and switching to the stock data of
SBL outstanding in Call Reports versus the flow data of newly originated SBL in CRA reports leads
to fewer blue counties, the same trend of a declining number of counties dominated by small
community banks in the SBL market still is evident. The number of counties where small banks
made more than 80% of the small business loans made by banks fell by more than 40% between
1997 and 2013. More details on the number of counties dominated by large banks in the SBL
outstanding over the years are summarized in Table 1B.
V. Increasing Role of Online Lending and Mortgages as a Source of Small Business
Lending Funding
V.1 The Role of Online Lending
We further examine the role of large and small banks in SBL and the impact of lending
technology, such as online lending, by focusing on counties where banks do not have a physical
presence. We create similar heat maps as described earlier based on CRA data (newly originated
and purchased SBL) over the period 19982014. With banks’ evolving lending technologies and
increasing online lending activities in recent years, we expect to observe them being better able to
make more loans in counties where they do not have any physical offices. We divide the analysis
into two parts one for large banks (with more than $10 billion in assets) and another focusing on
small banks (with assets less than $10 billion).
Figures 8A, 8B, and 8C present heat maps of proportion of SBL market share in the counties
where large banks do not have branch offices. The ratios are calculated as follows. The numerator
6 To be consistent with the previous plots, the SBL amount here includes small C&I and small farm loans less than
$1 million in origination. Figures A6, A7, and A8 present similar plots, but SBL is defined to also include nonfarm
nonresidential loans that are backed by CRE. Figure A9 presents number of counties summarizing the SBL trend
shown in the plots.
includes newly originated SBL issued by large banks that do not have a branch office in the county.
The denominator is total newly originated SBL in the county issued by all banks that report CRA
data (regardless of their asset size and whether they have branches in the county).7 The darker blue
color represents a large share of SBL originated by large banks that do not have branches in those
counties. We observe that the maps get darker over the years, which is consistent with our
technology and online lending arguments. Large banks have been better able to use new lending
technologies and compete in SBL without the need for a physical location in the local market. More
details on the number of counties dominated by large banks that do not have branches in the
county over the years are summarized in Table 1C.
Similarly, Figures 9A, 9B, and 9C present similar heat maps for SBL originated by smaller
banks (less than $10 billion) that report CRA data and do not have branch offices in the counties.
We observe that SBL market share of small banks that do not have branch offices in the counties
seems to have followed the opposite trend compared with the market share of large banks. The
decline in SBL market share at small banks in counties where they do not have branches is more
evident from 2005 (see Figure 9B) to 2014 (see Figure 9C). More details on the number of counties
dominated by small banks that do not have branches in the county over the years are summarized
in Table 1D. Overall, our evidence seems to suggest that small banks have been encountering an
increasingly dynamic competitive landscape over the years, with greater competition from both
large banks and nonbank institutions as lending technology has advanced. Small banks have lost
SBL market share in counties where they do not have branches.
V.2 The Role of Mortgage Credit
On the use of mortgage credit, we examine the role that mortgage credit played in the
profile and condition of small business borrowers before and during the financial crisis. We find
7 Note that the denominator remains the same as those in the earlier heat maps (in Figures 6A6C and 7A–7C).
that mortgage credit in broad termsresidential and commercial alikerose sharply as a source
of small business funding in the years preceding the financial crisis. As property values rose,
businesses tapped the underlying equity.
The previous data have been from the perspective of lenders. The Flow of Funds data are
benchmarked against the IRS Statistics of Income (SOI) Small Business Survey and incorporate
survey data done by the Federal Reserve Board to obtain a comprehensive view of financing for
small business. According to these data, Figure 10A shows the increasing role of mortgages as
funding sources for small businesses (noncorporate nonfinancial business), particularly during the
housing market boom period of 20002007. Figure 10B, shows the breakdown of mortgages used
to fund SBL. Commercial mortgage balances among noncorporate nonfinancial business liabilities
rose by a factor of 2.5 between 1999 and 2008, to $1.45 trillion, the largest funding source.
Multifamily mortgage balances rose 2.3 times during the same period, and single-family mortgage
credit rose by a factor of 2.1. The data likewise suggest that commercial and multifamily credit
experienced higher growth relative to the prior decade than did single-family mortgage balances,
whose growth rate was modest over the same period. From 1990 to 2000, single-family mortgage
credit originated to fund small businesses (nonfinancial and noncorporate businesses) rose by a
factor of 1.3 compared with a threefold rise in commercial and multifamily balances during the
same period.
VI. Postcrisis Environment for Small Business Lending: Challenges and Opportunities
Community banks engaged in SBL face a number of challenges in the postcrisis
environment. The historic advantage community banks have had in making small business loans
was their ability to leverage “soft” information such as knowledge of a business’s cash flow from
lock box and checking account relationships to make sound small business loans. Now community
bank competitors have developed technology that more efficiently uses multiple sources of
information to make speedy lending decisions, greatly reducing the competitive advantage of the
type of information community banks have about their customers. The technology also reduces the
involvement of lending staff, which reduces the cost of making these loans.
VI.1 The Rise of Alternative Nonbank Lenders to Small Businesses
The shadow lending sector has historically presented challenges for researchers attempting
to gauge its size and scope; SBL is no exception. Although a variety of data sources exist, no source
is authoritative. Nonbank lenders are subject to little or no regulatory oversight, including
disclosure requirements, and data reporting is therefore largely voluntary. Only when these
companies become publicly traded is more financial information made available. There has been
substantial anecdotal evidence that the nonbank alternative SBL sector has been growing rapidly.
According to research by Morgan Stanley (2015), “In the US, marketplace loan origination
has doubled every year since 2010, to $12 billion in 2014. Meanwhile, the trend is playing out
globally, notably in Australia, China and the UK. All-told, such lending could command $150 billion
to $490 billion globally by 2020.Table 2 lists some of the better-known nonbank lenders and the
information available about their lending volume. Although some of these “new” models have been
established for some time (e.g., CAN Capital was founded in 1998), most entrants have appeared
over the past seven to eight years. DeYoung, Frame, Glennon, McMillen, and Nigro (2008) have
partially attributed the growing distance between lenders and small business borrowers shown in
the SBA data to the growth in the shadow banking system. The faster application process, use of
alternative data, and reduced collateral requirements continue to make nonbank lenders appealing
to small business owners. Although the growth rates in the past several years are impressive, the
total volume of lending by nonbank lenders (about $190 billion overall, including about $40 billion
of loans by finance companies; see Figure 1) does not come close to about $350 billion in small
business loans made by the banking industry in 2014 (see Figure 4A).
The growth rates reported by the nonbank lenders have attracted institutional investors
(venture capital, hedge funds) and some private investors. For example, Kabbage (a working capital
lender) was established in 2009, and it expects to issue $1 billion in credit in 2015.8 The company
has tripled its yearly SBL volume in less than one year (Kabbage, 2015).9 In addition, OnDeck
Capital (2015) said its quarterly loan volume in the first quarter of 2015 was $416 million, 83%
higher than the same quarter one year earlier.10 Figure 11 shows the rapid growth of Lending Club
after the introduction of its small business loan product. Moreover, payments processors PayPal
and Square entered the market recently and are demonstrating strong growth rates PayPal
Working Capital has lent $1 billion from September 2013 to October 2015 to small- and medium-
sized businesses, and Square has lent more than $100 million to 20,000 small businesses within
one year of launching.
VI.2 The Various Business Models Used by Nonbank Lenders
Table 3 also presents details on the various business models used by nonbank lenders.
Many of the earliest nonbank entrants have historically been referred to as peer-to-peer (P2P)
lenders. As business models have evolved and become more hybrid in nature, they are frequently
referred to as marketplace lenders. In general, marketplace lenders use online platforms that serve
as intermediaries to connect borrowers with lenders (individuals, institutions, or both). Rather
than holding loans on their balance sheets, marketplace lenders generate revenue from transaction
8 Dahl (2015). See Darren Dahl, “The Six-Minute Loan: How Kabbage is Upending Small Business Lending -— and
Building a Very Big Business,” Forbes, May 6, 2015, available at
www.forbes.com/sites/darrendahl/2015/05/06/the-six-minute-loan-how-kabbage-is-upending-small-business-
lending-and-building-a-very-big-business/www.forbes.com/sites/darrendahl/2015/05/06/the-six-minute-loan-
how-kabbage-is-upending-small-business-lending-and-building-a-very-big-business/.
9 See Kabbage press release, “Kabbage Funding More Than $3 Million Per Day,” February 3, 2015, available at
www.kabbage.com/pdfs/pressreleases/Kabbage-$3mm-Press-Release-2-3-2015.pdf.
10 See OnDeck Capital Inc., FY15-Q1 Form 10-Q for the Period Ending March 31, 2015 (filed May 13, 2015).11
WebBank has average total assets of $279 million and a tier 1 risk-based capital ratio of 19.2%. Celtic Bank has
total assets of $430 million and a tier 1 risk-based capital ratio of 14.7%. Cross River has total assets of $427 million
and a tier 1 risk-based capital ratio of 9.3%. All figures are as of September 30, 2015.
fees when they match borrowers with investors wishing to buy loans. Although marketplace
lenders used to be characterized by their historical focus on consumer credits, their focus has
recently shifted toward small business loans.
Lending Club has shifted away from a pure P2P model in which loans were funded by
individuals who purchased the loans as investments in $25 increments. In 2014, 28% of its funding
came from institutions, including banks and asset managers (Buhayar, 2015). The company
received considerable attention in 2014 when it released a new product of unsecured business
loans ranging between $15,000 and $300,000 in size.
Behind many of these marketplace lenders are banks. For example, WebBank, an insured,
Utah-chartered industrial bank, makes the loans, holds them for a short time (two to three business
days), and then sells them back to the marketplace lender. The marketplace lender then markets
the loans to investors.11 Lending Club, Prosper, and PayPal reportedly originate loans through
WebBank. Kabbage originates loans through Celtic Bank, which is also a Utah-chartered industrial
bank. Cross River Bank, a state-chartered bank in New Jersey, has similar arrangements with 14
different marketplace lending platforms.
Marketplace lenders benefit from having banking partners for several reasons. Some states
require nonbank lenders to be licensed in state if they are making loans to residents of that state.
This is more common for consumer lending, but a few states (California, Nevada, North Dakota,
South Dakota, and Vermont) do require nonbank small business lenders to obtain licenses.
Different states have different requirements, and it can take time for the applications to be
reviewed and approved. Having a bank originate the loans removes the requirement for the
nonbank lender to obtain a license. Another reason is the ability to preempt state usury laws.
However, in May 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that nonbanks could no longer override state
11 WebBank has average total assets of $279 million and a tier 1 risk-based capital ratio of 19.2%. Celtic Bank has
total assets of $430 million and a tier 1 risk-based capital ratio of 14.7%. Cross River has total assets of $427 million
and a tier 1 risk-based capital ratio of 9.3%. All figures are as of September 30, 2015.
usury laws. The decision is currently being appealed. A third reason is less tangible. Investors may
have greater confidence in the underwriting process if the underwriting is done by a bank that is
subject of oversight by banking regulators.
Unlike marketplace lenders that connect borrowers to investors, nonbank balance sheet
lenders retain the loans they originate. These lenders often raise capital from private equity and
debt financing. Many of these alternative lenders, including Kabbage, On-Deck Capital, and CAN
Capital, focus on working capital loans. These entities generally charge a premium in return for ease
of application, reduced collateral requirements, and expedited funding. The lending platforms
developed by these alternative balance sheet lenders differentiate them from banks. Balance sheet
lenders typically use big data to build proprietary platforms that analyze loan applications quickly;
for example, Kabbage claims it can assess a loan application in minutes. They often look beyond
conventional data sources such as tax returns and credit scores. Many of these entities also directly
interface with QuickBooks, PayPal, Square, and IRS tax returns.
Certain payment system providers, including PayPal and Square, have created their own
niche in SBL by using data they collect while processing transactions to conduct credit analyses and
expedite lending decisions. Loans are issued through PayPal’s existing infrastructure and then
repaid automatically through deductions from incoming receipts. Payment processors have
demonstrated an advantage in their direct access to borrowers’ sales, cash flow, and other financial
data. PayPal holds the loans on its balance sheet similar to OnDeck and CAN Capital. PayPal has
used SBL as a means to grow its volume of payments transactions rather than as a standalone new
line of business (FRBNY Panel Discussants, 2015).12
12 FRBNY Panel Discussants, Session titled “New Products from New Players,” at the conference on “Filling the
Gaps: Summit on Small Business Credit Innovations,” organized by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, May 15,
2015. The panel included the following speakers: 1) Renaud Laplanche, president, Lending Club; 2) Andrea Gellert,
senior vice president, OnDeck Capital; 3) Daniel DeMeo, chief executive officer, CAN Capital; and 4) Liezl Van Riper,
director of development, Kiva. More details are available at www.newyorkfed.org/smallbusiness/small-business-
summit.html.
Table 3 details the underwriting and terms for the loan products provided by the various
nonbank lenders. As shown in Table 3, much of the focus of nonbank lenders is on smaller dollar
loans for working capital. Many of the lenders only require a personal guarantee. Some take a lien
on business assets, but none report taking a lien on personal assets. Interest rates can be
competitive with traditional banks, but they do report the potential for much higher loan rates.
OnDeck Capital reports an APR of 50% for a line of credit. All report application processing times of
less than 10 to 15 minutes, and some report funding in less than three days. As far as criteria, many
do use credit scores, and some state that the minimum credit score considered is 640, typically the
dividing line between subprime and prime borrowers. OnDeck reports that it will consider lower
credit scores for certain types of loans. An exception to the use of credit scores is PayPal, which
states that it does not consider business or personal credit scores. It relies on PayPal sales history.
With the streamlined credit approval process, time will tell how well these loans season.
Nonbank lenders continue to develop and adjust their business models, forming a variety of
partnerships and alliances with other companies. In 2015, for example, Lending Club established
formal relationships with Google and Alibaba, in which the two tech companies provide lump-sum
lending capital for their small business customers through the Lending Club platform. Lending Club
will handle the underwriting and servicing of those loans, and Google and Alibaba will fund the
loans. Another example is RiverNorth Capital Management, which recently sought permission from
the Securities and Exchange Commission to create a closed-end mutual fund focused on loans
originated through P2P lending platforms (Wack, 2015).13
13 See Kevin Wack, “SEC Petitioned for First-of-Its-Kind Marketplace Lending Fund,” American Banker, June 25,
2015, available at www.americanbanker.com/news/marketplace-lending/sec-petitioned-for-first-of-its-kind-
marketplace-lending-fund-1075088-1.html.14 See Lending Club Corporation (2015), FY15-Q1 Form 10-Q for the
Period Ending March 31, 2015 (filed May 5, 2015).
VI.3 Potential Benefits from BankNonbank Partnerships
Some community banks have started to adjust to the rise in nonbank lenders, as evidenced
by new partnerships between banks and alternative lenders. These partnerships are most common
among marketplace lenders that generate revenue from originating loans and place them with
other investors (rather than warehousing the loans). For example, in early 2015, Lending Club
partnered with BancAlliance, a nationwide network of approximately 200 community banks. Under
the agreement, banks direct their customers who need small dollar loans to Lending Club. In return,
the bank is provided with the opportunity to purchase the loans made to their customers. If a loan
does not meet the bank’s lending criteria, that loan is made available to Lending Club’s broader
investor pool (Lending Club Corporation, 2015).14 Banks can also purchase loans from the wider
Lending Club portfolio, allowing them to add loans outside their area to their portfolio.
This type of partnership has allowed banks to leverage Lending Club’s proprietary platform
to make small dollar loans efficiently without investing in new technology. Lending Club benefits
from increased transaction volume and from having a larger pool of investors to purchase loans.
Meanwhile, banks grow their loan portfolios with minimal overhead by using Lending Club’s
infrastructure, allowing community banks to mimic the economies of scale of larger national banks
(Graham, 2015).15 These partnerships are gaining in popularity, with Lending Club’s competitor,
Prosper, entering into a similar arrangement with another consortium of 160 small community
banks, Western Independent Bankers, in early 2015 (Prosper, 2015).16
14 See Lending Club Corporation (2015), FY15-Q1 Form 10-Q for the Period Ending March 31, 2015 (filed May 5,
2015).
15 See Brian Graham, “Opening the Consumer Lending Market for Community Banks,” BankDirector.com, April 23,
2015, available at www.bankdirector.com/committees/lending/opening-the-consumer-lending-market-for-
community-banks/.
16 See Prosper, “Prosper Marketplace Partnership with Western Independent Bankers Expands Credit
Opportunities for Small Banks and Their Customers,” Prosper, February 26, 2015, available at
http://blog.prosper.com/2015/02/26/prosper-marketplace-partnership-with-western-independent-bankers-
expands-credit-opportunities-for-small-banks-and-their-customers/.
There are also examples of community banks licensing technology directly from alternative
lenders to combine cost-efficient technology with their existing borrower relationships and
knowledge of their local markets (Lunden, 2014).17 Licensing soon may become a more widespread
option as one market leader, Kabbage, recently announced its intent to offer licenses to banks
(PYMNTS.com, 2015a).18
In addition, community banks can increase customer loyalty by referring them to nonbank
lenders when the bank does not offer a product that meets the customer’s needs. By providing
customers with viable alternatives, it is more likely that these customers will maintain deposit and
other banking relationships with the bank and return to the bank for future lending needs
(Wisniewski, 2014).19 For example, BBVA Compass entered into such a referral agreement with
OnDeck in mid-2014, whereby BBVA Compass’ customers will get favorable pricing for loans from
OnDeck (Clark, 2014).20 In addition, in mid-2014, Santander Bank entered into a reciprocal referral
agreement with Funding Circle whereby Santander Bank would proactively refer customers looking
for small business loans to Funding Circle. In return, Funding Circle will refer its customers looking
for banking services to Santander (Cummings, 2014).21
To summarize, nonbank lenders are growing rapidly, but they are far from approaching the
volume of traditional bank lenders. However, with their technology platforms and their ability to
use alternative information sources to judge creditworthiness, it is possible that they are increasing
17 See Ingrid Lunden, “Kabbage Grows: The Online Platform for Small Business Loans Raises Another $50M,” Tech
Crunch, May 5, 2014, available at http://techcrunch.com/2014/05/05/kabbage-50m/.
18 See Pymnts @pymnts, “Kabbage to License its Lending Platform,” Pymts.com, March 24, 2015, available at
http://www.pymnts.com/in-depth/2015/kabbage-to-license-its-lending-platform/.
19 See Mary Wisniewski, “Why BBVA Compass is Sending Customers to an Online Rival,” American Banker, May 8,
2014, available at www.americanbanker.com/issues/179_89/why-bbva-compass-is-sending-customers-to-an-
online-rival-1067386-1.html.
20 See Patrick Clark, “OnDeck’s Latest Deal Shows Banks are Ready to Outsource Some Small Business Loans,”
Bloomberg Business, May 9, 2014, available at www.bloomberg.com/bw/articles/2014-05-09/ondecks-latest-deal-
shows-banks-ready-to-outsource-some-small-business-loans.
21 See Chris Cummings, “Funding Circle and Santander Deal Hailed as New Era for Funding,” The
Yorkshire Post, June 23, 2014, available at www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/business/business-
news/funding-circle-and-santander-deal-hailed-as-new-era-for-funding-1-6689499.a Lending Club
Corp., Form 10-Q Quarterly Filing for the Period Ending March 31, 2015 (filed May 5, 2015).
the availability of credit, particularly to newer businesses that do not have the credit history
required by traditional lenders. Additionally, as more millennials make up the pool of small
business owners, they may be more comfortable with technology and may prefer dealing with an
online lender versus an in-person loan officer. However, nonbank lenders have found it beneficial
to partner with traditional banks, and nonbanks look to banks for funding and referrals. There are
even some indications that nonbanks find it advantageous to originate loans through traditional
banks. Banks also are interested in partnering with nonbanks. They look to nonbank lenders as
sources of innovative loan platforms and of access to a wider pool of loans that can help them meet
the needs of their communities and possibly reduce their concentration risk by investing in loans
from a larger area. Given the speed of innovation to date, there is likely to be increased innovation
in this space, allowing community banks to make small business loans more efficiently to a wider
group of borrowers.
VII. Conclusions
There is little doubt that U.S. community banks, the nation’s dominant source of small
business loans for decades, are facing a new competitive landscape. Our research shows the
emerging landscape features the entrance of fast-growing nonbank lenders as well as strong
competition from large banks. The decline in SBL among community banks was well underway as
long as a decade before the financial crisis, including a secular shift away from smaller-balance
loans. Even so, our research adds to existing evidence showing that the crisis, combined with
technological advancements, served to perpetuate the ongoing decline in community banks’ market
share in SBL.
Finally, our research suggests that the rise of alternative nonbank lenders represents both
challenges and opportunities for community banks. By using technology and unconventional
underwriting techniques, many alternative lenders are competing for borrowers with offers of
faster processing times, automatic applications, minimal demands for financial documents and
funding as soon as the same day all services most community banks would struggle to imitate. At
the same time, our research suggests that these nonbank lenders may offer growth opportunities
for community banks, most notably in the examples of formal partnerships and alliances.
Table 1A
Number of Counties Dominated by Large Banks (Larger than $10 Billion) in Newly Originated
or Purchased Small Business Lending (19972013)
Sample includes banks that submit CRA reports in each year. Small banks (less than $1 billion) that did
not submit CRA reports are not included.
Source: Community Reinvestment Act Data
Year
1997
2002
2005
2007
2009
2011
2013
SBL Ratio: Less Than 20%
20% to 40%
40% to 60%
60% to 80%
Larger Than 80%
Total Number of Counties
1,296
591
511
419
403
3,220
792
831
775
562
268
3,228
351
746
913
837
380
3,227
192
451
871
1,085
627
3,226
285
528
788
927
697
3,225
415
570
734
829
678
3,226
364
587
733
825
718
3,227
Table 1B
Number of Counties Dominated by Large Banks (with More Than $10 Billion in Assets) in Total
Small Business Lending Outstanding (19982013)
Sample includes all U.S. commercial banks.
Sources: Call Report for SBL data (small C&I and small farm loans), Community Reinvestment Act Data for
the SBL distribution across counties (for banks that report CRA data), and Federal Reserve Summary of
Deposits Data for SBL distribution across counties (for small banks that did not report CRA)
Year
1997
2002
2005
2007
2009
2011
2013
SBL Ratio: Less Than 20%
20% to 40%
40% to 60%
60% to 80%
Larger Than 80%
Total Number of Counties
1,946
482
371
226
209
3,234
1,685
675
465
253
155
3,233
1,700
731
429
254
114
3,228
1,414
757
579
355
127
3,232
1,289
799
566
435
144
3,233
1,374
709
555
410
185
3,233
1,156
780
588
497
215
3,236
Table 1C
Number of Counties Dominated by Large Banks in Newly Originated Small Business Lending
(19972014)
SBL ratio is the ratio of SBL originated by large banks (with more than $10 billion) that do not have
branches in the counties to total SBL originated by all banks that report CRA data.
Source: Community Reinvestment Act Data
Year
1997
2002
2005
2007
2009
2011
2014
SBL Ratio: Less Than 20%
20% to 40%
40% to 60%
60% to 80%
Larger Than 80%
Total Number of Counties
2,245
520
203
135
117
3,220
2,214
652
223
103
36
3,228
1,764
831
376
191
65
3,227
933
1,208
627
322
136
3,226
1,158
1,092
507
266
202
3,225
1,795
763
326
187
155
3,226
1,299
1,111
437
217
164
3,228
Table 1D
Number of Counties Dominated by Small Banks in Newly Originated Small Business Lending (1997
2014)
SBL ratio is the ratio of SBL originated by small banks (less than $10 billion) that do not have branches in
the counties to total SBL originated by all banks that report CRA data.
Source: Community Reinvestment Act Data
Year
1997
2002
2005
2007
2009
2011
2014
SBL Ratio: Less Than 20%
20% to 40%
40% to 60%
60% to 80%
Larger Than 80%
Total Number of Counties
1,792
510
270
237
411
3,220
1,787
733
318
225
165
3,228
1,747
853
366
187
74
3,227
2,137
697
260
96
36
3,226
2,242
576
243
118
46
3,225
2,150
565
271
148
92
3,226
2,179
529
284
155
81
3,228
Table 2
The Growth of Nonbank and Other Alternative Lenders
Prosper
Marketplace
Established in 2007; prelaunched in 2013j
● Valued at $1.9B after fundraising in spring 2015
● Originated more than $5B in loans since its 2007 launch
In 2015, facilitated $2.6B in growth through the third quarter
k
Funding
Circle USA
Founded in the U.K. in 2010; expanded to the U.S. in 2013l
Lending ~$75M a month as of April 2015m
>40K investors participating in the marketplace as of October 2015n
Originated >$1.5B in small business loans as of October 2015 since its launch
o
a Lending Club Corp., Form 10-Q Quarterly Filing for the Period Ending March 31, 2015 (filed May 5, 2015).
b Noah Buhayer, “Lending Club Wants to Broaden Its Membership,” Bloomberg Business, April 23, 2015.
c Homepage. (n.d.), retrieved September 8, 2015, from Lending Club website (www.lendingclub.com).
d Lending Club Corp. (2015) “1Q15 Prepared Remarks,” May 5, 2015.
e Lending Club Statistics. (n.d.), retrieved September 8, 2015, from Lending Club website
(www.lendingclub.com/info/download-data.action).
f See Lending Club Statistics.
g Lending Club Corp. (2015) FY14 Form 10-K for the Period Ending December 31, 2014 (filed February 27, 2015).
h Lending Club Corp. (2015) “Google and Lending Club Partner to Deliver New Business Financing Program”
(company press release), January 15, 2015.
i Michael De La Merced, “Alibaba and Lending Club to Form Financing Partnership,” New York Times, February 3,
2015.
j Gillian Tan, Telis Demos, and Ianthe Jeanne Dugan (2015) “Prosper Marketplace’s Valuation More Than Doubles
to $1.9 Billion,” Wall Street Journal, April 8, 2015.
k Prosper Marketplace, Inc., FY15-Q3 Form 10-Q for the Period Ending September 30, 2015 (filed November 6,
2015).
l Matthew Zeitlin, “Small Business Lender Funding Circle Raises $150 Million,” BuzzFeed News, April 22, 2015.
m See Zeitlin, 2015.
n About. (n.d.), retrieved September 8, 2015, from Funding Circle website (www.fundingcircle.com/us/about).
o See Zeitlin, 2015.
Marketplace Lenders
Lending
Cluba, b
Launched lending platform for consumer loans with balances <$35K (including small
business loans) in 2006c
From launch through the third quarter of 2015, issued nearly $13.4B in consumer and
small business loansd
Small business loans with balances <$35K grew 68.1% from 2013 to 2014e
In 2015, $4.4Bin loans with balances <$35K were originated through the third quarterf
Expansion of small business loan offerings
March 2014: Launched new unsecured small business loan product with loans ranging
in amounts from $15K to $300Kg
● January 2015: Google partnershiph
February 2015: Alibaba partnership
i
Kabbage
Founded in 2009
Originated more than $1B in small business loans since its 2009 launchq
Tripled its daily small business loan origination volume in less than one year (2015:
$3M a day vs. 2014: $1M a day)
r
Payments Processors
PayPal
Working
Capital
Launched in September 2013
As of October 2015, funded more than $1B in credit to small and midsized businesses
since its 2013 launchs
Raised maximum loan amount to $85K from $20K
t
Square
Began offering loans in 2014
Loaned more than $100M to 20K small businesses within one year of launch
u
p OnDeck Capital Inc., FY15-Q1 Form 10-Q for the Period Ending March 31, 2015 (filed May 13, 2015).
q Home. (n.d.), retrieved on January 12, 2016, from Kabbage website (www.kabbage.com/2).
r Kabbage Inc., “Kabbage Funding More than $3 Million Per Day” (company press release), February 3, 2015.
s PayPal Holdings, Inc.PayPal Reports Strong Third Quarter Results,” BusinessWire.com, October 28, 2015.
t PYMNTS.com,Why PayPal Working Capital Was a No-Brainer,” PYMNTS.com, May 8, 2015.
u Matt Weinberger,Square Has Advanced $100 Million to Small Businesses,” Business Insider, April 16, 2015.
Balance Sheet Lenders
OnDeck
Capital
Established in 2007; IPO in 2014p
Originated more than $2B in small business loans since its 2007 launch
Loan originations increasing at 159% compound annual growth rate from 2012 to 2014
Originated $416M small business loans during 1Q2015, up 83% from the prior year
Table
3
Alternative Lenders: Underwriting and Terms
Alternative Small
Business Lender
Loan
Amount
Interest
Rates
Application
and Funding
Time
Borrower Criteria
Marketplace Lenders
Lending Club
Consumer
small
business
loans: $1K–
$35Kv
Small
business
loans:
$15K–
$300Kw
Annualized
rates of 8%
32%
(including
origination
fees, which
are 1%6% of
balance)x
Preapproval in
minutesy
Approval and
funding
process
typically takes
7 daysz
No collateral required for loans
under $100Kaa
● Minimum standards for
consumer small business loans
include (but are not limited to)
minimum credit score of 660, 3
years of credit history, and limited
credit inquiries within the past 6
monthsab
● Minimum standards for other
small business loans: annual sales
greater than $75K, in business for
at least 2 years,ac own at least 20%
of the business, and no recent
bankruptcies or tax liens
ad
Prosper
Marketplace
Consumer
small
business
loans: $2K–
$35K
ae
5%36%af
Plus 1%5%
origination
feeag
Online
applicationah
Funding occurs
2–8 business
days after
No collateral requiredaj
Minimum standards for loans:
minimum credit score of 640,
debt-to-income ratio of less than
50%, and maximum number of
v Lending Club Corp, FY14-Form 10-K Annual Report for the Period Ending December 31, 2014 (filed February 27,
2015).
w Lending Club Corp, FY14-Form 10-K Annual Report for the Period Ending December 31, 2014 (filed February 27,
2015).
x Lending Club Corp, FY14-Form 10-K Annual Report for the Period Ending December 31, 2014 (filed February 27,
2015).
y Lending Club Corp, FY14-Form 10-K Annual Report for the Period Ending December 31, 2014 (filed February 27,
2015).
zHow Long Does It Take to Get My Loan?(n.d.), retrieved January 12, 2016, from Lending Club website
(http://kb.lendingclub.com/borrower/articles/Borrower/How-long-does-it-take-to-get-my-loan).
aaBusiness Loans.(n.d.), retrieved January 12, 2016, from Lending Club website
(www.lendingclub.com/business).
ab Lending Club Corp, FY14-Form 10-K Annual Report for the Period Ending December 31, 2014 (filed February 27,
2015).
ac Renaud Laplanche, Lending Club Corp,Affordable Credit for Business Owners,” presented at “Filling the Gaps:
Summit on Small Business Credit Innovations,” Federal Reserve Bank of New York, May 15, 2015.
adBusiness Loans.(n.d.), retrieved January 12, 2016, from Lending Club website
(www.lendingclub.com/business).
aeLoan Types.(n.d.), retrieved January 12, 2016, from Prosper website (www.prosper.com/loans/loan-types).
af “Prosper Borrower Help.” (n.d.), retrieved January 12, 2016, from Prosper website
(www.prosper.com/help/borrowing).
investors are
secured
ai
inquiries in the past 6 months: 7ak
Funding Circle USA
$25K–
$500Kal
5.49%
22.79%am
Plus 1%5%
origination
feean
Loan
application
takes less than
10 minutesao
Funding in
fewer than 10
daysap
● Collateral required: lien on
business assets and a personal
guaranty from primary business
owners are requiredaq
● Factors considered in
application: credit score; real-time
cash flow; 3 years of business tax
returns; 1 year of personal tax
return; 6 months of business bank
statements; online customer
reviews; for loans over $200K:
balance sheet and income
statement and outstanding loans
and credit profile
ar
Balance Sheet Lenders
OnDeck Capitalas
Term
loans: $5K–
$250Kat
Lines of
credit:
Term loans:
APR ranged
from 8.9%
98.4%
Line of
Application and
approval in
minutesaw
Funding within
1 business
● No collateral required; lien on
business assets and a personal
guaranty are requireday
Underwriting standards:
minimum credit score of 500,
ag Prosper Funding LLC and Prosper Marketplace, Inc., FY14-Form 10-K Annual Report for the Period Ending
December 31, 2014 (filed April 6, 2015).
ahProsper Borrower Help.(n.d.), retrieved January 12, 2016, from Prosper website
(www.prosper.com/help/borrowing).
ajGet a Personal Loan for Your Small Business.(2015), retrieved January 12, 2016, from Prosper website
(www.prosper.com/loans/loan-types/personal-loans-business).
aiProsper Borrower Help.(n.d.), retrieved January 12, 2016, from Prosper website
(www.prosper.com/help/borrowing).
ak Prosper Funding LLC and Prosper Marketplace, Inc., Prospectus dated August 13, 2015.
alBusiness Loans.(n.d.) Retrieved January 12, 2016, from Funding Circle website
(www.fundingcircle.com/us/small_business_loans).
am “Loan Rates and Fees.” (n.d.), retrieved January 12, 2016, from Funding Circle website
(www.fundingcircle.com/us/rates_and_fees).
an “Business Loans.” (n.d.), retrieved January 12, 2016, from Funding Circle website
(www.fundingcircle.com/us/small_business_loans).
ao “Business Loans.” (n.d.), retrieved January 12, 2016, from Funding Circle website
(www.fundingcircle.com/us/small_business_loans).
apCompare Us.(n.d.), retrieved January 12, 2016, from Funding Circle website
(www.fundingcircle.com/us/compare).
aqGeneral Q&As.(n.d.), retrieved January 12, 2016, from Funding Circle website
(www.fundingcircle.com/us/support).
arGeneral Q&As.(n.d.), retrieved January 12, 2016, from Funding Circle website
(www.fundingcircle.com/us/support).
as On Deck Capital Inc., “OnDeck Reports First Quarter 2015 Financial Results” (company press release), May 4,
2015.
atFrequently Asked Questions.(n.d.) Retrieved January 12, 2016, from OnDeck website (www.ondeck.com/faqs).
$20K
maximumau
credit: APR
ranged from
13%50%av
dayax
>$100K in annual revenue, and in
business for at least 1 yearaz
● Average borrower has been in
business for 10 years and has at
least $1 million in annual
revenue
ba
Kabbagebb
Lines of
credit:
$2K–$100K
Loans are
paid off over
6 or 12
months
No “interest”
charged
Fees are 1%
12%, and the
disclaimer
third-party
partners may
charge an
additional
1.5% fee
each month
Application and
funding in
minutes
● No collateral is required;
personal guarantee is required
● Minimum requirements: must
be in business for more than 1
year and have over $50K in
revenue
● Kabbage performs verification
by automatically obtaining
business data and instantly
verifying bank account
information
● Factors considered in
application: proprietary model
that looks at real-time business
data (e.g., IRS, QuickBooks, eBay,
PayPal, Amazon, Etsy, Square),
credit score, average monthly
revenue, seller rating, time in
business, and other
unconventional metrics (online
reviews and Facebook and Twitter
followers)
bc
aw On Deck Capital Inc., FY15-Q1 Form 10-Q Quarterly Report for the Period Ending June 30, 2015 (filed August 11,
2015).
ayFrequently Asked Questions.(n.d.), retrieved January 12, 2016, from OnDeck website
(www.ondeck.com/faqs).
auOnDeck Line of Credit.(n.d.), retrieved September 8, 2015, from OnDeck Capital website
(www.ondeck.com/business-loans/line-of-credit).
av On Deck Capital Inc., FY15-Q3 Form 10-Q Quarterly Report for the Period Ending September 30, 2015 (filed
November 10, 2015).
axOnDeck Line of Credit.(n.d.), retrieved September 8, 2015, from OnDeck Capital website
(www.ondeck.com/business-loans/line-of-credit).
az “Are You a Small Business in Need of Fast Funding?(n.d.), retrieved January 12, 2016, from OnDeck website
(www.ondeck.com/business-loans/loan-qualifying).
ba Andrea Gellert, OnDeck Capital, (2015) Conference presentation presented at “Filling the Gaps: Summit on Small
Business Credit Innovations,” Federal Reserve Bank of New York, May 15, 2015.
bbHow Kabbage’s Small Business Loans Work.(n.d.), retrieved January 12, 2016, from Kabbage website
(www.kabbage.com/how-it-works).
bc Darren Dahl,The Six-Minute Loan: How Kabbage Is Upending Small Business Lending And Building a Very Big
Business,Forbes, May 25, 2015.
Fundationbd
Working
capital
loans:
$20K–
$150K
Business
expansion
loans:
$20K–
$500K
APR from
8%30%
inclusive of
origination
and closing
fees
Application
takes 10
minutesbe
Funding can
occur in as
little as 3
business daysbf
● No specific collateral required;
lien on business assets and a
personal guaranty are requiredbg
● Factors considered in
application: credit score, 2 years of
business tax returns, 3 months of
business bank statementsbh
● Minimum standards for loans:
annual sales greater than $100K,
in business for at least 2 years, and
have at least three employees
bi
Payments Processors
PayPal Working
Capitalbj
Maximum
loan of
15% of
annual
PayPal
sales, up to
$85K
Single fixed
fee based on
PayPal sales
history, loan
amount, and
daily
repayment
deduction
Application and
funding in
minutes
No personal guarantee required
● Factor considered in application:
PayPal sales history of the
business; personal and business
credit scores are not considered
Minimum standards for loans:
>$20K annual PayPal receipts
Square Capitalbk
Cash
advance of
$2K–$50Kbl
Fixed
percentage
(estimated at
10%–14%)
taken out of
sales in
addition to
processing
fees
Effective APR
Approval time
of 1 business
daybn
● Eligible to Square merchants
only with a history of processing
volume; no publicly released data
on minimum requirements
availablebo
● No personal guarantee or
collateral requiredbp
bdThe Best Product on the Market.(n.d.), retrieved January 12, 2016, from Fundation website
(www.fundation.com/how-much-can-i-borrow).
beExperience.(n.d.) Retrieved January 12, 2016, from Fundation website (www.fundation.com).
bfFrequently Asked Questions.(n.d.), retrieved January 12, 2016, from Fundation website
(www.fundation.com/faq).
bgOur Product Details.(n.d.), retrieved January 12, 2016, from Fundation website
(www.fundation.com/how-much-can-i-borrow).
bhOur Product Details.(n.d.), retrieved January 12, 2016, from Fundation website
(www.fundation.com/how-much-can-i-borrow).
bi “Working Capital Loans to Help Achieve Stability” (n.d.), retrieved January 12, 2016, from Fundation website
(www.fundation.com/small-business-loans/type/working-capital-loans).
bjWorking Capital Tour.(n.d.), retrieved January 12, 2016, from PayPal website
(www.paypal.com/us/webapps/workingcapital/tour).
bk “Square Capital.” (n.d.), retrieved January 12, 2016, from Squareup website.
(https://squareup.com/capital?gclid=CNTIzf7spMoCFZODaQodsMcBUw&pcrid=45557294377&pdv=c&pkw=square
+capital&pmt=e).
bl Priyanka Prakash, “Square Capital Reviews: Affordable Merchant Cash Advances,” FitSmallBusiness.com, June 12,
2015.
estimated
around
35%
bm
bn Priyanka Prakash, “Square Capital Reviews: Affordable Merchant Cash Advances,” FitSmallBusiness.com, June
12, 2015.
bo Priyanka Prakash, “Square Capital Reviews: Affordable Merchant Cash Advances,” FitSmallBusiness.com, June
12, 2015.
bp Priyanka Prakash, “Square Capital Reviews: Affordable Merchant Cash Advances,” FitSmallBusiness.com, June
12, 2015.
bm Priyanka Prakash, “Square Capital Reviews: Affordable Merchant Cash Advances,” FitSmallBusiness.com, June
12, 2015.
Table 4
Lender Type Distribution for Small Business vs. Small and Medium Business Loans
As of 1Q2015
Small and Medium Loans (2015Q1) Small Business Loans Only (2015Q1)
Data source: PayNet Small Business Credit Conditions Report
Lender Type % Share
Banks 61.3%
Corporations 26.9%
Finance Companies 11.8%
Total 100%
Lender Type % Share
Banks 56.3%
Corporations 28.3%
Finance Companies 15.4%
Total 100%
Data source: Flow of Funds Data
0
20
40
60
80
100
120
140
160
180
200
1980 1982 1984 1986 1988 1990 1992 1994 1996 1998 2000 2002 2004 2006 2008 2010 2012 2014
In $ Billion
Figure 1
Breakdown of Other Loans and Advances (as Funding Source to
Noncorporate Nonfinancial Companies) in $Billion
Loans From Finance Companies
Farm Credit System Loans
Other Loans From US Government
Figure 2
Small Business Lending Index: Year-Over-Year Change (1Q2006 to 1Q2015)
Data source: PayNet Small Business Credit Conditions Report
Figure 3
Small Business Lending Index: National (1Q2006 to 1Q2015)
Data source: PayNet Small Business Credit Conditions Report
Data source: Call Reports. Size and SBL are inflation adjusted to 2014 dollar value.
Data source: Call Reports. Size and SBL are inflation adjusted to 2014 dollar value.
0
50
100
150
200
250
300
350
400
1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Total SBL (in $Billion)
Year
Figure 4A
Total Amount of Small Business Loans (<$1 Million) Held by Banks
by Bank Size Group
Total Assets >$50B
$10B<Total Assets<= $50B
$1B< Total Assets <= $10B
Total Assets <= $1B
0%
10%
20%
30%
40%
50%
60%
70%
80%
90%
100%
1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Total SBL ($B)
Year
Figure 4B
Market Share of Small Business Lending (<$1 Million) Held by Banks
by Bank Size Group
Total Assets
>$50B
$10B<Total
Assets<= $50B
$1B< Total
Assets <= $10B
Total Assets <=
$1B
Data source: Call Reports
0
0.02
0.04
0.06
0.08
0.1
0.12
0.14
0.16
1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
SBL-to-Total-Asset Ratio
Year
Figure 4C
Ratio of Small Business Loans to Assets by Bank Size Group
Total Assets <= $1B
$1B< Total Assets <= $10B
$10B<Total Assets<= $50B
Total Assets >$50B
Data source: Call Reports. Size and SBL are inflation adjusted to 2014 dollar value.
Data source: Call Reports. Size and SBL are inflation adjusted to 2014 dollar value.
0
20
40
60
80
100
120
140
160
1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Total Small SBL<$100K ($Billion)
Year
Figure 5A
Total Outstanding of Small Business Loans (<$100K) ― by Bank Size Group
Total Assets >$50B
$10B<Total Assets<= $50B
$1B< Total Assets <= $10B
Total Assets <= $1B
0%
10%
20%
30%
40%
50%
60%
70%
80%
90%
100%
1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Total Small SBL< $100K
Year
Figure 5B
Market Share of Small Small Business Loans (<$100K)
by Bank Size Group
Total Assets
>$50B
$10B<Total
Assets<= $50B
$1B< Total
Assets <= $10B
Total Assets <=
$1B
Figure 6A
Figure 6B
Figure 6C
Figure 7A
Figure 7B
Figure 7C
Figure 8A
Figure 8B
Figure 8C
Figure 9A
Figure 9B
Figure 9C
3.0
3.5
$
$45
$50
Figure 11
Lending Club Small Business Loan Annual Originations
Small Business Loans with Maximum Balances of $35,000
Data source: Flow of Funds Data (in $Billion)
Data source: Flow of Funds data (in $Billion)
0
1,000
2,000
3,000
4,000
5,000
6,000
7,000
1980
1981
1982
1983
1984
1985
1986
1987
1988
1989
1990
1991
1992
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
$ Billion
Figure 10A
Funding Sources to Small Businesses (Noncorporate Nonfinancial
Businesses) ― in $Billion
Miscelleneous Liability
Foreign Direct Investment
Taxes Payable
Trade Payables
Mortgages
Other Loans and Advances
Depository Institutions
0
500
1,000
1,500
2,000
2,500
3,000
3,500
1980
1981
1982
1983
1984
1985
1986
1987
1988
1989
1990
1991
1992
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
$ Billion
Figure 10B
Breakdown of Mortgages as Funding Source to Small Businesses
Farm Mortgage
CommertialMortgage
Multifamily ResidentialMortgage
HomeMortgage
Source: Lending Club
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Appendix
Data source: Call Reports. SBL includes small C&I, farm, and business loans backed by CRE. Size and SBL are
inflation adjusted to 2014 dollar value.
Data source: Call Reports. SBL includes small C&I, farm, and business loans backed by CRE. Size and SBL are
inflation adjusted to 2014 dollar value.
0
100
200
300
400
500
600
700
800
1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Total Small Businss Loans (in $Billion)
Year
Figure A1
Total Amount of Small Business Loans (<$1 Million by Bank Size Group)
Total Assets >$50B
$10B<Total Assets<= $50B
$1B< Total Assets <= $10B
Total Assets <= $1B
0%
10%
20%
30%
40%
50%
60%
70%
80%
90%
100%
1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Market Share (%)
Year
Figure A2
Market Share of Small Business Loans (<$1 Million) by Bank Size Group
Total Assets
>$50B
$10B<Total
Assets<= $50B
$1B< Total
Assets <= $10B
Total Assets <=
$1B
Data source: Call Reports. SBL includes small C&I, farm, and business loans backed by CRE. Size and SBL are
inflation adjusted to 2014 dollar value.
Data source: Call Reports. SBL includes small C&I, farm, and business loans backed by CRE. Size and SBL are
inflation adjusted to 2014 dollar value.
0
0.05
0.1
0.15
0.2
0.25
0.3
1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
SBL-to-Total-Asset Ratio
Year
Figure A3
Ratio of Small Business Lending to Assets Ratio by Bank Size Group
Total Assets <= $1B
$1B< Total Assets <= $10B
$10B<Total Assets<= $50B
Total Assets >$50B
0
20
40
60
80
100
120
140
160
180
1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Total Outstanding Small SBL < $100K (in $Billion)
Year
Figure A4
Outstanding Small Business Lending (<$100K) by Bank Size Group
Total Assets
>$50B
$10B<Total
Assets<= $50B
$1B< Total
Assets <= $10B
Total Assets <=
$1B
Data source: Call Reports. SBL includes small C&I, farm, and business loans backed by CRE. Size and SBL are
inflation adjusted to 2014 dollar value.
Figure A6
Figure A7
0%
10%
20%
30%
40%
50%
60%
70%
80%
90%
100%
1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Market Share (%)
Year
Figure A5
Market Share of Small Business Lending (<$100K) by Bank Size Group
Total Assets
>$50B
$10B<Total
Assets<= $50B
$1B< Total
Assets <= $10B
Total Assets <=
$1B
Figure A8
Table A1
Number of Counties Dominated by Large Banks in Small Business Lending Outstanding (1998
2013)
(Call Report SBL — with nonfarm nonresidential)
Sources: Call Report data for outstanding SBL (SBL includes small C&I, small farm, and small business backed by
CRE); CRA data and Federal Reserve Summary of Deposits data for SBL Distribution across counties.
% of SBL Originated
by Banks > $10 Billion 1998 2002 2005 2007 2009 2011 2013
<= 20%
2,121
1,920
1,938
1,692
1,605
1,654
1,623
20%-40%
489
649
654
724
748
732
734
40%-60%
284
340
352
483
523
468
476
60%-80%
179
194
187
234
272
277
290
> 80%
161
130
97
99
85
102
113
Total Counties
3,234
3,233
3,228
3,232
3,233
3,233
3,236
... Historically, community banks have served as an important source of credit for small businesses, but the SBL market and the economic landscape have significantly changed in recent years. Jagtiani and Lemieux (2016) discuss how advanced technology has allowed large banks and nonbank alternative lenders to become more important providers of SBL since the latter part of the 2000s. The fixed cost required to invest in technology may have affected the efficiency and performance at small community banks in recent years. ...
... Using a longer sample period that includes more recent data after the financial crisis, Jagtiani and Lemieux (2016) confirm that nonbank institutions have been playing increasing roles in the SBL market through online lending platforms. 6 Hughes and Mester (2010, 2013a provide a comprehensive discussion of the structural and nonstructural methodologies to assess bank performance. ...
... However, both groups of community banks exhibit a significantly higher ratio of small business loans to assets than large banks (0.031). This is consistent with statistics reported by Jagtiani and Lemieux (2016), although they also report that the gap in the ratio of small business loans to assets between large banks and community banks has become narrower over the years. ...
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... Historically, community banks have served as an important source of credit for small businesses, but the SBL market and the economic landscape have significantly changed in recent years. Jagtiani and Lemieux (2016) discuss how advanced technology has allowed large banks and nonbank alternative lenders to become more important providers of SBL since the latter part of the 2000s. The fixed cost required to invest in technology may have affected the efficiency and performance at small community banks in recent years. ...
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... Nonbank lenders have been increasing their market shares of SBL in the past decade, and they are not included in our analysis. Jagtiani and Lemieux (2016) discuss the role of advanced technology that may have allowed large banks and nonbank lenders (through online lending platforms) to effectively compete in collecting "soft information." ...
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There have been increasing concerns about the potential of larger banks acquiring community banks and the declining number of community banks, which would significantly reduce small business lending (SBL) and disrupt relationship lending. This paper examines the roles and characteristics of U.S. community banks in the past decade, covering the recent economic boom and downturn. We analyze risk characteristics of acquired community banks, compare pre- and post-acquisition performance, and investigate how the acquisitions have affected SBL. Contrary to the concerns, our analysis shows that the overall amount of SBL increases more after a merger when a community bank is acquired by a large bank. Data also suggest an overall (regardless of mergers) declining SBL trend for all bank size groups. In fact, the decline in the SBL ratio, on average, has been more severe among community banks, relative to large banks. Our results indicate that mergers involving community bank targets over the past decade have enhanced the overall safety and soundness of the banking system without adversely impacting SBL.
... Finally, Cole documents a strong negative relation between bank size and business lending, and a strong positive relation between bank capital adequacy and business lending. Jagtiani and Lemieux (2016) use FFIEC Call Report data on the amount of small-business loans outstanding at depository institutions to document how, since the 1990s, the market share of small-business loans has risen at large banks at the expense of community banks and that this trend accelerated following onset of the financial crisis in 2008. They also find that, during the run-up to the financial crisis when housing prices were rising rapidly, small businesses increased the use of home equity lines of credit to fund their operations. ...
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... They estimate that online lender made about $5 billion in small-business loans during 2014 and were growing at 175% per year. Jagtiani and Lemieux (2016) use FFIEC Call Report data on the amount of small- business loans outstanding at depository institutions to document how, since the 1990s, the market share of small-business loans has risen at large banks at the expense of community banks and that this trend accelerated following onset of the GFC in 2008. They also find that, during the run-up to the GFC when housing prices were rising rapidly, small businesses increased the use of home equity lines of credit to fund their operations. ...
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