Monday, October 3, 2011

Local banks enticed with funds for small business loans

Local banks enticed with funds for small business loans
By Josh Flory

Billy Carroll, president and CEO of Pigeon Forge-based SmartBank, acknowledges that the regulatory climate is tougher than it used to be, but said that banks still want to loan money.

'If we can't grow assets we can't make money,' he said. 'We can't generate a return for our shareholders.'

SmartBank's parent company was approved recently for $12 million through the federal Small Business Lending Fund, and Carroll said the bank is working on a couple of small-business loans that he thinks were generated by its participation in the program.

The funding, he said, allows the bank to price its loans a little more competitively, to grow its asset base 'and not have to worry about going out and immediately trying to raise capital behind that.'

SmartBank is among a handful of Tennessee community banks that have been on the receiving end of money from the $30 billion program approved by Congress last year.

See the full article at the Knoxville News Sentinel web site: