Fed says U.S. banks eased standards in last 3 months

NEW YORK Mon May 5, 2014 2:00pm EDT

NEW YORK May 5 (Reuters) - Banks eased lending standards for U.S. commercial loans in the last three months while demand for the loans increased, continuing a pattern in the last few quarters, the Federal Reserve said on Monday.

Banks on balance "eased their lending policies for commercial and industrial and commercial real estate (CRE) loans and experienced stronger demand for both types of loans over the past three months," the U.S. central bank said in its quarterly senior loan officer survey.

"Banks reported easing loan terms, on net, over that period," it added.

The poll covered 74 U.S. banks and 23 U.S. branches of foreign banks.

The Fed is still providing very accommodative monetary policy more than five years after the end of the 2007-2009 recession, and increased bank lending is a big part of its overall stimulus plan for the world's biggest economy.

In the survey results, the Fed said banks eased standards on consumer credit card and auto loans, but tightened standards on nontraditional closed-end mortgage loans.

More banks reported weaker demand for each type of residential real estate loans, while more reported stronger demand for credit card and auto loans, the Fed said.

(Reporting by Jonathan Spicer; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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