Small Business Administration:

Actions Needed to Strengthen Small Business Lending Company Oversight

GAO-01-192: Published: Nov 17, 2000. Publicly Released: Dec 19, 2000.

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The Farm Credit Administration (FCA) reviewed the Small Business Administration's (SBA) oversight of the Small Business Lending Companies (SBLC) program and determined that several areas could be strengthened. SBA officials said that the agency plans to take appropriate action on most of FCA's recommendations to improve the program. However, FCA expressed concern about the financial risk to SBA's loan portfolio associated with less favorable economic conditions. Such conditions could place upward pressure on SBA's 7(a) loan default rates. SBA needs to have access to information that accurately identifies risk in both individual loan and the total portfolio. The initial SBLC examination results have provided some information to aid in such risk identification, but a continued effort is needed.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Acting Administrator of SBA directly assigned the SBLC examination function to the Office of Lender Oversight. According to SBA officials, SBA's IG has not raised the issue of whether a delegation of authority from SBA's IG is necessary.

    Recommendation: The Administrator, SBA, should directly assign the SBLC examination function to the Office of Lender Oversight.

    Agency Affected: Small Business Administration

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: In its 2004 proposal for legislation, SBA asked for specific supervisory and enforcement authority for small business lending companies and non-federally regulated SBA lenders. The Senate's bill to reauthorize SBA programs (S1375) proposes to provide the requested authority.

    Recommendation: The Administrator, SBA, should ensure that SBA provides, through regulation, clear policies and procedures for taking supervisory actions. Specifically, if SBA determines that it does have the necessary statutory authority, the Administrator of SBA should develop and adopt SBLC regulations that would clearly define SBA authority to take supervisory actions and specify conditions under which supervisory actions would be taken. If SBA determines that it does not have necessary statutory authority, the Administrator of SBA should make a legislative proposal to ensure that the agency has the supervisory authorities necessary to direct and enforce corrective action of conditions that may not merit a suspension or removal of lending status.

    Agency Affected: Small Business Administration

 

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