WASHINGTON - Banks continued to ease their lending terms and standards for businesses and households this fall, the Federal Reserve reported Monday.
And while loan demand from individuals continued to increase from September to November, demand from large businesses was mixed, the Fed said.
The findings were detailed in a November survey of senior loan officers, which was prepared in anticipation of the central bank's recent monetary policy meeting. The Fed releases the survey every six weeks.
"Demand for credit continued to grow in November, but responses were less uniformly positive than in the last survey," the report said.
Household Demand Strong
Senior loan officers said that during the past two months, household demand for installment credit was particularly strong, while the demand for home equity lines of credit "fell back a bit."
Car loans were singled out as a source of particularly strong demand.
The report found that while demand from small and medium-size businesses increased at about the same pace as this summer, the trend did not continue for larger companies. "Demand for business loans by large firms, which had been reported up in the previous survey, was little changed on balance over the last three months," the report said.
Those surveyed suggested that the failing demand from large firms was caused by increased financing by these firms from nonbank sources.
The report also found that standards for commercial real estate changed little since the September survey. Term.s for loans secured by commercial office buildings tightened slightly, but other types of commercial real estate loans eased.
"Although scattered signs of easing were also evident in previous surveys, there has been no reversal of the substantial tightening of lending standards for commercial real estate loans reported in 1990 and 1991," the report said.