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Inside Washington (06/02/2011)
* WASHINGTON (6/3/11)--An uneven regulatory environment is a primary factor behind the current credit crunch, witnesses told lawmakers at a House Small Business Committee hearing Wednesday. Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. regulators inconsistently apply regulations, Lynn Ozer, the executive vice president of Susquehanna Bank, Pottstown, Pa., told the committee (American Banker June 2). Ozer was testifying on behalf of the National Association of Government Guaranteed Lenders. William Hall, a member of the board of the International Franchise Association, said franchises are also having difficulty obtaining loans because of inconsistency by regulators. Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) said that President Barack Obama assured Republicans in a meeting at the White House Wednesday morning that the federal government doesn’t have any effect on the ability of banks to lend … * WASHINGTON (6/3/11)--The Treasury Department has warned Small Business Lending Fund (SBLF) applicants that they will not qualify for funding if regulators have restricted them from paying dividends (American Banker June 2). Treasury sent questionnaires to all C corporation banks requesting whether can pay dividends on SBLF securities and, if not, whether they are working with their regulators to remove those restrictions. Dividend restrictions must be removed or waived by Aug. 1 for banks to qualify for the program. The notice is a reaction to pressure from lawmakers for greater oversight of the program, according to lawyers for applicants. Only healthy banks can qualify for the SBLF program, and the Treasury is required to confer with each applicant’s primary regulator before approving its application. Banks with dividend restrictions typically are limited by a regulatory order …


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