Fed says banks eased lending standards again, loan demand up

WASHINGTON Mon May 6, 2013 2:09pm EDT

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Banks eased lending standards to U.S. businesses and for some types of consumer debt over the last three months as competition intensified and demand for loans advanced, the Federal Reserve said on Monday.

The findings of its quarterly senior loan officers survey, which provides a detailed dispatch from the front lines of the U.S. economy, were broadly in line with other indicators showing steady, but still gradual U.S. growth.

"The survey results generally indicated that banks' policies regarding lending to businesses eased over the past three months and demand increased, on balance," it said. "Banks that eased their C&I (commercial and industrial) lending policies generally cited increased competition for such loans as an important reason for having done so."

The report was based on an opinion poll of 68 domestic banks and 21 U.S. branches and agencies of foreign banks.

(Reporting By Alister Bull; Editing by Andrea Ricci)

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