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WASHINGTON — Several of the Small Business Administration’s loan programs will undergo changes in an effort to help the agency’s lending partners increase access to capital for small businesses.First, an interim final rule allowing new SBA loans to be made with an alternative base interest rate, the one month Libor, in addition to the prime rate, which was previously allowed. In the past 60 days, both the prime and Libor has not yet returned to its historical relationship of roughly 300 basis points between the two rates. The mismatch between the rates issqueezing SBA lenders out of the lending market, since their costs are based on the Libor, the agency said on Nov. 13.The second change allows a new structure for assembling SBA loans into pools for sale in the secondary market. The agency said enhanced flexibility in loan pool structures can help affect profitability and liquidity in the secondary market for SBA guaranteed loans, especially with the current market conditions. Because the average interest rate is used, these pools are easier for pool assemblers to create, thus providing incentives for more investors to bid on these loans, SBA said.In the coming weeks, SBA plans to issue additional technical guidance to lenders relating to the implementation of the changes.–[email protected]

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