I should like to suggest that when an application is doomed from the start, the bank should say so, in order that people do not incur these costs. Risky applications should be viewed with the idea that easy and inexpensive information be made available first of all, and then if it is felt the submission has potential, then you start paying money.
When this bill was considered in committee last fall there was discussion about discretion levels. 1 do not want to ask the minister to bring forward the discretion levels of every branch of the bank in Canada, but I would ask him to delineate the bank's policy in this regard. 1 think some branches get away with stalling, through not delineating that approval or discretion level which every bank manager has. Head office is blamed for things which the branch office should really take care of.
Earlier 1 spoke of what 1 called an approval disapproval time lag. Last fall Mr. Lavigneau made the comment before the finance committee that it took one week for head office to consider a loan. I made the comment then, and I repeat it now, that we are not interested in how long it takes head office to handle things. The small businessman is more interested in the lag between the time they walk in the front door and the time approval or disapproval is given. That is where we could really do a job for Canadian small business.
Finally, Mr. Speaker, I should like to touch on something which pertains to my own riding and perhaps others in this country. The previous speaker referred to the branch in his riding. One place where the FBDB could really improve its operation is by making branch banking through the FBDB available to every constituency in the country. All of the major chartered banks have branches in the riding of Simcoe North. They are on street corners or in the middle of the block and are part of the business community. The FBDB has no branch in the riding of Simcoe North. I cannot point to 6 per cent of the loans being made in Simcoe North, although I would like to, but there is no branch in my riding. There are other ridings which do not have a branch either.
Topic: GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic: FEDERAL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT BANK ACT