Fed Survey Shows More U.S. Banks Tighten Loan Terms

Discussion in 'Economics' started by ASusilovic, May 5, 2008.

  1. The Federal Reserve said the share of banks making it tougher for companies and consumers to borrow approached a record after the subprime-mortgage collapse made them more reluctant to lend.

    The quarterly Senior Loan Officers' Survey, published in Washington today, underscores the Fed's concern that $318 billion of credit losses and writedowns among financial firms is causing a credit crunch. The survey, conducted last month, also indicates that the Fed's interest-rate cuts and loans to banks have failed so far to defuse the threat to the six-year economic expansion.

    ``It's going to be a headwind to growth,'' said Keith Hembre, chief economist at Minneapolis-based FAF Advisors Inc., which oversees $107 billion. ``The change from being readily available and cheap to less available and more expensive is going to deter a lot of borrowing activity.''

    Most banks increased loan rates over their cost of funds for commercial and industrial borrowing, according to the central bank's quarterly survey of senior loan officers released today in Washington. The proportion of banks raising such rates rose to a net of 70 percent compared to 45 percent in a January report.

    The survey data were available to central bank policy makers last week when they cut interest rates by a quarter percentage point.

    The report covered 56 domestic banks and 21 foreign institutions. The American banks together have $6.1 trillion in assets, representing about 64 percent of the country's $9.5 trillion total for all domestically chartered, federally insured commercial banks.


    Headwind to growth ? After 318 $ billion in losses quite to expect, or ?