Approval rates of small business loans at big banks hit a new index high of 17.6 percent in December, compared to 17.4 percent in November, according to the latest update of the Biz2Credit lending index. But alternative (non-bank) lenders continue to be a big player in small business lending.

Congressman Mel Watt, the incoming director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the independent regulatory over Fannie and Freddie, has said he plans to delay the fee increases announced on Dec. 9 by the current FHFA director, Edward DeMarco. Such fee increases are typically passed on to borrowers in the form of higher interest rates.