Obama Ready To Shift TARP Funds To Smaller Lenders

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama said on Wednesday he was ready to shift the government bailout efforts from larger banks to smaller banks because small business owners still have too little access to credit.

Obama said in prepared remarks announcing new small business lending initiatives and cheaper government capital for community lenders, that increasing credit to these firms would spur more job growth.

“The major banks that were in critical condition a year ago need no new assistance from the government, and so we are winding down that portion of the TARP program,” Obama said. “But to spur lending to small businesses, it’s essential that we make more credit available to the smaller banks and community financial institutions that these businesses depend on.”

(Reporting by David Lawder; Editing by Andrea Ricci)