Most banks still are tightening the screws on borrowers, despite the government's efforts to ease credit conditions by injecting lenders with capital.
The Federal Reserve's latest survey of bank lending, reported Monday, showed that a majority of banks made it harder to get loans in the last three months -- although in some loan categories the percentage tightening credit was down from the Fed's October survey.
A net 64% of domestic banks said they tightened lending standards on commercial and industrial loans to large and mid-size companies in the last three months, down from the 84% that said they had tightened in the October survey. A year earlier, just 32% of banks said they had made loans harder to get.
Smaller companies found it tougher to get loans at a net 69% of banks in the last three months, compared with 75% in the October survey.