With the credit markets thawing, small-business lending in Los Angeles is up sharply from last year.

According to data recently released by the U.S. Small Business Administration, 943 SBA loans were originated in the L.A. district during the fiscal first quarter, which ended last month. That total is up 54 percent from the same period last year.

Loan sizes are rising as well: The SBA backed $720.5 million during the quarter, a whopping 151 percent increase.

In a statement, Monique Fortenberry, acting director of the L.A. district, attributed the uptick in lending to increased federal funding for the SBA.

Chase Bank was the top local SBA lender by dollar volume during the quarter, but a pair of local institutions were close behind. Koreatown pillars Center Bank and Wilshire State Bank were the No. 2 and No. 4 lenders, respectively.

New Allegations

The National Credit Union Administration has offered additional allegations in a lawsuit against former officers and directors of Western Corporate Federal Credit Union after a federal judge in Los Angeles issued a preliminary ruling dismissing charges against most of the defendants.

The NCUA is seeking $1 billion from the defendants for their roles in the failure of the San Dimas corporate credit union.

In a tentative ruling, the judge found that the former directors acted appropriately under the business judgment rule, but allowed the NCUA to amend its original allegations.

In its latest filing, the NCUA offered more evidence that the former directors and executives took excessive risk in their investment strategy and also said the business judgment rule should not apply under the circumstances to the defendants.

The defense is expected to issue a response this week and a final hearing on the dismissal of charges is set for Jan. 31.

C-Suite News

Robert Beyer, chairman of investment firm Chaparal Investments, was appointed by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to the Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners. … Westwood private equity firm Gores Group LLC has hired Anthony Guagliano as a managing director. … BNY Mellon Corporate Trust has appointed Miguel Barrios a West Coast business development executive, based in the firm’s L.A. office. … Community Bank, a business bank headquartered in Pasadena, has appointed Robert Cassidy director of human resources and Debby Hart chief administrative officer. … Union Bank, a regional bank owned by UnionBanCal Corp., has appointed Gerard Hollins vice president of the legal specialty group overseeing Los Angeles for the institution’s private bank.

Staff reporter Richard Clough can be reached at rclough@labusinessjournal.com or at (323) 549-5225, ext. 251.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, CLICK HERE.