Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Banks More Willing to Make Consumer Loans, Demand Remains Weak

The July Federal Reserve Senior Loan Officer Survey reported that banks increased their willingness to make consumer installment loans for the third consecutive quarter, reaching a decade high. A small net fraction of banks reported easing standards on both credit card and other consumer loans.

Terms on consumer loans other than credit card loans were reported to have been roughly unchanged during the three month survey period. Demand for all types of consumer loans weakened.

Indicators of changes in standards and terms for approving applications for credit card loans were mixed. A few banks eased standards, but small net fractions of domestic banks indicated that they had tightened terms and conditions on credit card
accounts. Moreover, a small fraction of banks reported having reduced the size of credit card lines for existing customers, though that fraction has decreased noticeably over the past few surveys.

As for residential real estate lending, a small fraction of domestic banks eased standards on prime residential mortgage loans. The increase in demand over the past few months for prime residential mortgage loans reported by several respondents to the current survey represents a reversal of the net weakening of demand for such loans reported in the April survey.

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