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Fewer banks tightened lending standards last quarter, Federal Reserve says

November 10, 2009|Bloomberg News

Fewer U.S. banks tightened lending standards for companies and consumers in the third quarter as the economy grew for the first time in more than a year, a Federal Reserve survey showed.

Demand for most types of loans weakened at a smaller number of banks than in the second quarter, the Fed also said Monday in its quarterly Senior Loan Officer survey. For prime residential mortgages, a larger number of banks reported stronger demand, the central bank said.

The report helps explain why Fed policymakers last week said "tight credit" remains a drag on the economy and pledged to keep their benchmark interest rate near zero for an "extended period." JPMorgan Chase & Co. is among the banks that have reduced lending in response to stricter underwriting standards for consumer loans and lower demand from companies.

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