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Lenders Remain Stingy

Lending standards at U.S. banks are increasingly stringent, according to the Federal Reserve's April 2008 Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey on Bank Lending Practices.

The survey showed tighter lending terms and standards for mortgages, business loans and credit cards between January and April. The Fed said 55% of domestic banks reported higher lending standards for commercial and industrial firms, and 80% reported tighter lending to consumers.

"The net fractions of domestic banks reporting tighter lending standards were close to, or above, historical highs for nearly all loan categories in the survey," said the report.

Lending criteria for real estate rose at 80% of U.S. domestic banks and at more than 55% of foreign banks, while 30% of domestic banks tightened credit card lending standards.

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