Only about 1 % of principal repayment to Treasury through 2011 under the TARP Capital Purchase Program (CPP) was the result of SBLF refinancing, according to latest Quarterly Report to Congress issued by the Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP).  Though the lion’s share of Treasury’s $4 billion investment under the Small Business Lending Fund was used for this purpose, the figure constitutes only a fraction of the $186 billion in CPP principal repaid thus far.  About $20 billion in CPP securities remains outstanding.

The rest of the story is that the smaller CPP participants have been much slower to repay CPP obligations, and the SBLF was a major boost for those institutions.  In all, 137 institutions exited TARP by refinancing their outstanding CPP investment using SBLF funds.  Through December 31, 2011, 279 banks in all had exited the CPP program either by fully repaying CPP or by virtue of Treasury’s having sold the institution’s stock.  So roughly half of all exits from the CPP – the first investments under which took place in 2008 – occurred during the three months of SBLF infusion in 2011.  In contrast, by the middle of 2009, ten of the largest CPP participants had already repaid $68 billion worth of Treasury investment.

The average SBLF participant exiting the CPP program used $16 million in SBLF funds to refinance CPP obligations.  Compare that to the median CPP investment among the 707 recipients under that program – $10.3 million – and you can see how the SBLF closed out very little of Treasury’s overall CPP investment but was the single most successful community bank TARP exit strategy to date.

Meanwhile, Treasury continues to make its case that the SBLF has also increased small business lending among participants – $3.5 billion (September 30, 2011) over a $35.9 billion baseline (the average for the four quarters ending June 30, 2010) – or about $10 million per bank.  The average SBLF recipient (332 recipients in all) received $12 million.