Treasury to increase small business loan reports

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner speaks during a news conference at the G20 Finance Ministers meeting at a hotel, near Horsham, in southern England March 14, 2009. REUTERS/Andrew Winning

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Treasury Department said on Monday it will require the top 21 banks receiving government assistance to report their lending to small businesses monthly.

The department also will seek regulatory changes that require all banks to report small business loans on a quarterly basis.

The actions are part of the Obama administration’s effort to help small firms struggling with recession, Treasury officials said.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner will ask bank regulators to make changes to seek quarterly reports on small business loans from banks instead of only once a year.

“We need every bank in the country to do everything in their power to provide the credit that small businesses need to operate, expand and add jobs,” Geithner said in remarks prepared for delivery to bankers and small business leaders at the White House. “You need to make the extra effort to make sure that good loans are getting to credit-worthy small business in order to serve the larger public good of moving this nation toward recovery.”

Reporting by David Lawder; Editing by Kenneth Barry