At the Western Independent Bankers Annual Conference in Arizona, Federal Reserve Governor Elizabeth Duke predicted an increase in bank lending to domestic small businesses. She notes, "Economic conditions, the most important determinant of the demand for and availability of small business lending, have improved considerably since the early and middle part of last year."

However, Duke's speech seemed to double as a call to action, or even a cry for help, to inspire community banks to pick up the pace in the area of business credit lending.

"Even though the environment is challenging and some community banks face significant stress, most community banks are fundamentally sound and will remain so," said Duke. "It is encouraging to see in your conference agenda that you are looking forward to returning to a more stable model of community banking..."

See below for Duke's prepared speech in its entirety by clicking the following link:


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