Fed Says Few Banks Eased Commercial Lending Standards in October

Few banks in the U.S. eased their lending standards last month for loans made to businesses, according to a quarterly Federal Reserve survey.

“Only a modest net fraction of banks eased their standards” for commercial and industrial loans to firms of all sizes, the Fed said today in its quarterly Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey on Bank Lending Practices.

Banks also eased standards for construction and land development loans, according to the survey, which is based on responses from 76 domestic banks and 22 U.S. branches of foreign banks collected from Sept. 30 to Oct. 14.

Banks reported little change in standards for household loans and saw “mixed” changes in demand for such lending. They generally reported “stronger demand” for auto loans. A “large majority of banks” expected a moderate increase in retail small business lending over the next year, the Fed said.

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