Fed Survey Shows Bank Credit Standards Stabilizing

Most banks kept credit standards for commercial loans to small businesses (under $50 million in sales) the same over the last three months, while a handful further tightened credit, according to the latest quarterly survey of senior loan officers from the Fed. (PDF here.)

The last report in August seemed to show the credit crunch decelerating. Stabilizing might be a better word — credit conditions are not really easing but they’re not tightening at the rate they had been. Some details from the Fed below:

In the October survey, domestic banks indicated that they continued to tighten standards and terms over the past three months on all major types of loans to businesses and households. However, the net percentages of banks that tightened standards and terms for most loan categories continued to decline from the peaks reached late last year. … A small net fraction of branches and agencies of foreign banks eased standards on [Commercial & Industrial] loans, whereas a significant net fraction continued to tighten standards on [Commercial Real Estate] loans. Demand for most major categories of loans at domestic banks reportedly continued to weaken, on balance, over the past three months. This weakening was somewhat less widespread than in the July survey for C&I loans, CRE loans, and nontraditional mortgages; approximately the same for consumer loans; and significantly more widespread for home equity lines of credit. … Demand for C&I and CRE loans at foreign banks continued to weaken, on balance, but the weakening was somewhat less widespread than that in the July survey.
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