U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on Wednesday called on banks to get back to the business of lending and said a tough credit environment for small businesses will slow economic recovery.

Without increased access to credit for American families and small businesses, growth will be weaker, companies will defer long-term investments and we will not be able to create a recovery that is self-sustaining and led by private demand, Geithner said in opening remarks to a small-business financing forum hosted by the Treasury.

(Reporting by David Lawder; Editing by James Dalgleish)