Monday, February 01, 2010

Fed: Banks Cease Tightening Standards, Loan Demand Weakens Further

by Bill McBride on 2/01/2010 02:00:00 PM

From the Fed: The January 2009 Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey on Bank Lending Practices

The January survey indicated that commercial banks generally ceased tightening standards on many loan types in the fourth quarter of last year but have yet to unwind the considerable tightening that has occurred over the past two years. The net percentages of banks reporting tighter loan terms continued to trend lower. Banks reported that loan demand from both businesses and households weakened further, on net, over the survey period.
emphasis added
In general banks have stopped tightening lending standards, however demand continues to weaken. For real estate - especially commercial real estate - the banks are still tightening standards:
Questions on residential real estate lending. Banks continued to tighten standards on residential real estate loans over the past three months. In line with recent patterns, a small net fraction of banks tightened standards on prime residential real estate loans over that period, and somewhat larger net fractions of banks tightened standards on nontraditional residential real estate loans. In addition, a moderate net fraction of banks reported weaker demand from prime borrowers for residential real estate loans.

Questions on commercial real estate lending. ... a substantial share of domestic banks, on net, reported having tightened standards on CRE loans and having experienced weaker demand for such loans again in the fourth quarter of 2009.