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Biggest U.S. Banks Keep Lending Less and Less of Their Money

  • Total loans as share of assets decline to a record of 46%
  • Banks amass assets while their lending levels stagnate

Source: Getty Images

The biggest U.S. banks reduced the portion of their collective balance sheets they’re dedicating to loans to a new low, extending a trend that’s seen the largest lenders put less and less of their firepower behind everyday borrowers.

Total loans at the 25 biggest U.S. banks comprise less than 46% of their combined assets, down from 54% this time last year, according to weekly Federal Reserve data made public on Friday. At 45.8%, the share of total assets devoted to loans is the lowest figure in nearly 36 years of weekly data.