Far from the carnage on Wall Street, thousands of banks in the U.S. are still going strong, and still making loans on Main Street. Small banks that are deeply rooted in their communities are foreclosing on far fewer properties than bigger banks, extending loan terms and lowering interest rates to keep customers solvent.
“We’re trying to help people stay in their homes, trying to help businesses survive,” Eager said. “We’re lending to people that we know and people that we believe can afford the house and can afford to repay us.”
HIGHLIGHTS of 2 ABC Reports:
– The smaller, community banks are better capitalized and more willing to make new loans.
– Central Bancorp, in the Boston area, is one of those banks, even advertising in the Boston Globe to announce, “We have money to lend.” William Morrissey, the bank’s chief operating officer said, “We want to make mortgages. We have the money to invest.”
– It is a similar story in Maryland where three small banks — Felton Bank of Delaware, The Centreville National Bank of Maryland and The Talbot Bank of Easton — are all lending as vigorously as they did in the past, according to CEO Moorhead Vermilye. “We’ve got plenty of money to lend, we’d love to lend,” he said.
But, there are some large banks that have received TARP (government) funds and have increased their lending (but not many).
SunTrust, which received $4.9 billion in TARP funds, is one bank that did increase lending: “We have said consistently and publicly that we are in business to make good loans to creditworthy borrowers. We are out there every day seeking opportunities to do that; the loan growth reported in our fourth quarter results reflects those efforts.”
(Read more in a 4 Feb. ABC report, Tiny Banks Lending Large)