Commercial banks, still busy with the business of tidying up their portfolios and shrinking balance sheets, are slowly getting back to small business lending. However, the void created by their long absence has been increasingly filled by both smaller regional banks and nonbank lenders. It's the latter that are driving securitization because it increases their access to funding, allowing them to grow lending volumes.

"Banks are significantly more comfortable with their willingness to lend to us if they believe there is a permanent takeout," said Barry Sloane, chairman, president and chief executive of Newtek Business Services, a nonbank financial firm that lends to small businesses. "For example, if there is securitization for the loans that can be funded with equity in our warehouse lines of credit, banks are more generous."

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