Powell: Main Street Lending Facility to Open ‘Within a Week or So’

After officially opening the Main Street Lending Program for lender registration yesterday, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said its corresponding Main Street Lending Facility will begin receiving MSLP loans “within a week or so.” The Fed will purchase 95% of each eligible loan submitted to the MSLP, provided that those transactions are consistent with the facility’s requirements.

Responding to concerns about the take-up rate for the program, Powell assured members of the Senate Banking Committee that “we feel there’s substantial interest on the part of bankers for this,” adding that the Fed has made several changes to the program in recent days to facilitate participation by more small and midsize firms.

“As we have been since the very beginning, we are very open to learning and adapting,” he said. “We have made repeated changes to these facilities to make them better structured to achieve their goals, and we’ll continue to do that.” Powell also noted that in the days ahead, “if we’re hearing about companies for whom a loan is the right answer who do not for some reason qualify for the Main Street loan facilities and should, then we’ll be adapting to that.”